A laminectomy is spine surgery performed to alleviate lower
back pain (lumbar pain). It works by removing all of the lamina, the back part of the vertebra
that covers the spinal canal, in order to relieve pressure on the nerve
roots and / or spinal cord and provide more space for them to heal and
move freely. Laminectomy is a form of decompression surgery.
Pain in the lower back and neck is often caused by damaged spinal discs
and bone spurs that protrude into the spinal canal. This is common in
patients who have suffered damage to the vertebrae or who have certain
conditions affecting the spine, including arthritis and spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by enlarged facet joints in the vertebrae
that place pressure on nearby nerve roots. It is caused by degenerative
changes that occur as a person ages.
Spine Surgery: What to Expect
In determining whether laminectomy is an option for treating an underlying
condition, our board-certified spine surgeons look closely at several
- A patient’s medical history
- Pain, weakness, or numbness in the neck, back, or extremities that limits
mobility and creates limitations for daily activity
- Persistent pain and limited motion that has not improved with non-surgical treatment
Diagnostic testing, such as MRIs, can be used to determine the severity
of any underlying problem and whether it will respond to surgery. In some
cases, a laminectomy may need to be performed as part of surgery to remove
portions of a
herniated disc (discectomy), as removing the lamina will allow a surgeon to access and remove disc
During the procedure, an incision will be made to allow a surgeon to access
and remove the lamina, and see nerve roots in the spine. Facet joints
may also be partially removed or trimmed in order to provide impinged
nerve roots with more space. Muscles are then sewn together to cover the
laminectomy site. In some procedures, spinal fusion may also be performed
in order to stabilize sections of the affected spine. This procedure involves
the fusing of vertebrae to prevent recurring problems and reduce pain.
Find an Orange County Spine Surgeon Online
Surgical patients who come to the Center for Spine at Hoag Orthopedic Institute
benefit not only from board-certified spine doctor trained in the most
advanced techniques, but also a team of specialists who focus on their
overall health and well-being. This includes dedicated care team who provide
pre- and post-surgery education to ensure a faster recovery, as well as
pain management and
physical therapy specialists who assist patients as they heal and return to a more active
and healthier life.
To find a
spine surgeon and request an appointment, visit our online physician directory.
Find a Spine Surgeon