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The goal of a laminectomy is to enlarge the space in your spinal canal to reduce nerve compression or pressure. The lamina is part of the vertebral bone that covers and protects the spinal column. Removing all or part of the lamina during a laminectomy can give a compressed nerve root more space and a better environment in which to heal and grow.
During the procedure, a small incision is made along the midline of the back. To have a clear view of the spinal canal, your surgeon will retract the soft tissues and muscles. A part of or the entire lamina is removed, allowing visualization of the nerve roots. Other sources of compression, such as bone spurs or damaged disc material are removed to relieve additional symptoms. Once all pressure has been removed from the affected nerve, the tissue and muscle is sewn back together to cover the laminectomy site. The nerve roots now have room to heal.
A laminectomy is typically performed to alleviate pain stemming from spinal stenosis, which refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal and the associated pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine and the spinal cord. A laminectomy can also be the answer to a herniated disc, in which your surgeon will be able to remove any disc material putting pressure on the nerves.