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Laminectomy

Laminectomy is a type of micro surgery procedure. It is also known as an open decompression. The surgery enables the surgeon to remove a section of lamina, which is a bone that covers the spinal cord, when narrowing of the pain or stenosis causes pain and pressure on nerve roots. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a medical condition that usually affects elderly people, where facet joints are enlarged due to spinal disintegrative spinal change. The nerves are pressured by these larger joints, the laminectomy helps relieve the pressure. A laminectomy is typically done to help relieve leg or lower back pain, as well as provide better access to the spinal cord.

Using microsurgical instruments and working through a small incision in the lower back, the surgeon excises the damaged lamina to open up the spinal canal and reduce pressure. Compared to other micro surgery procedures, the incision for a laminectomy is longer (two to five inches) and involves more stripping of the muscle. During the procedure, after the lamina is removed through dissecting the muscles surrounding it, the underlying nerve roots are checked to ensure they are no longer pinched. If the nerves are still under too much pressure, the surrounding joints may be trimmed.

After a laminectomy procedure, a patient may not be able to leave the hospital for one to three days. Depending on how old the patient is, and what condition they are in, the recovery period after they leave can vary greatly. While they are encouraged to walk, they should avoid heavy lifting or bending for six weeks, in order to avoid pulling at the installed, small suture line that is healing.

Since Laminectomy is generally performed on older patients, and the risks for an older patient undergoing any kind of surgery are higher, it’s best to have the procedure done by an expert who can accurately consult you. If you are searching for the best practice to undergo a laminectomy surgery in the New Jersey area, contact us at the Spine Institue for an appointment. Doctor Marc Cohen and his associates are experts in the spinal field, and specialize in micro surgeries such as laminectomies.