Conditions Treated

Laminectomy

Laminectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the lamina — Also known as decompression surgery, laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. In anatomy lamina means a thin plate or scale. Ectomy is a derivative of the Ancient Greek word -εκτομία (ektomía) meaning- “a cutting out of”. So laminectomy is a surgical removal of the lamina. In spinal anatomy, a lamina can be though of as the roof covering the spinal canal. Below this roof lie spinal nerves, the sac containing nerve roots, and various ligaments. As the spine degenerates the bone spurs develop, ligaments thicken and buckle and discs bulge. The end result is narrowing of the spinal canal and reduction of the space available for the nerves. This reduced space results in pressure on the nerves and the blood vessels that supply them with oxygen. Since the nerves receive less oxygen they cannot perform all of their functions efficiently and the cells that make up the nerves start to die. The end result is scar tissue formation within the nerves and nerve dysfunction. Patients experience all of these changes as pain in the extremities or loss of function(weakness or balance issues, leg buckling etc). The way you correct the problem of nerve pressure is by surgical removal of all the offending structures- bone, ligament, and disc. The way you access these offenders is by performing a removal of the roof covering the spinal canal (laminectomy) using special tools. Once you are inside the spinal canal you can remove the ligament or disc that is putting direct pressure on the nerve. A laminectomy at 1 and 2 spinal levels can be performed minimally invasively with minimal muscle damage and a short hospital stay. It may take up to a year for your nerves to regenerate provided that the damage done to the nerve is reversible.

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