Laminectomy is a surgical operation which involves the removal of the vertebral bone (lamina) either partially or completely. Laminectomy is also called decompression surgery since the operation eases the pressure on the spinal nerves or spinal cord.
Laminectomy is mostly performed for patients who have arthritis in their spine. It may cause unmanageable bone development around the spinal canal. As a result of the grown bones, the spinal canal becomes narrower, and it causes pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. This state is known as spinal stenosis, which may cause numbness around the arms or legs, weakness, and radiating pain.
Even though laminectomy operation is a relatively safe and reliable surgery with consistent results, it is chosen to be performed only when other kinds of less invasive treatments fail such as physical therapy or injections. Also, laminectomy surgery can be performed when the patient is suffering from severe symptoms, or it can be performed as a part of the herniated spinal disk operation.
Laminectomy surgery is recommended for patients suffering from painful spinal stenosis caused by large bone spurs, which can compress the spinal nerves.
When different kinds of treatments did not succeed, Laminectomy is performed so as to ease the symptoms. Muscular weakness, which is one of the symptoms, can cause difficulties walking and difficulties controlling the bladder or bowel. Laminectomy is mostly performed when the patient has spinal stenosis, which is affecting 3 or more vertebrae.
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Laminectomy (25 Clinics)
● Age under 18
Before the operation, the patient must be examined by an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Also, the patient should go through X-rays and MRIs so that the affected vertebrae can be identified. The patient who will undergo Laminectomy should stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen for at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
Laminectomy is performed under general anesthesia. Also, intravenous antibiotics can be used during the process. Laminectomy is performed on a special operating table patient positioned as facedown. As the anesthesia starts showing its effect, the operation area gets cleaned by a solution. After that, surgeons make an incision lengthwise, right on the affected vertebrae. During the operation with the help of retractors, surgeons are able to see the affected areas. Surgeons pay attention to the close areas as well in order to see if there is any other bone spurs present. When the removal ends, the incision site is closed with stitches, and it is surrounded by a sterile bandage. As the surgery is completed, the recovery period can start.
After the Laminectomy, many patients are able to go back to their home around 4-5 days. After the surgery for around 3-4 weeks, patients should stay away from lifting heavy items and bending from the waist. During the recovery period, a physical therapist would be helping the patient with guidelines for the process. Even though it is okay to shower after the operation, for bathing, patients should wait for at least 2-3 weeks since there should not be any contact with water in the incision site. After the Laminectomy, the pain might be experienced, but it can be eased with painkillers. In about 3-4 weeks, many patients are able to do light work and activities.
● Spinal fluid leak
● Blood clots
● Considerable pain
● Restricted movement
● Swelling around the incision area
The success rate of Laminectomy is around 90%. Also, the rate of patients who stated that their symptoms had improved quickly after the operation is 81-95%.
After the operation, some patients may continue experiencing pain. Sufficient time is required for the body to recover, but it is known that in a year, patients are healed properly.
When can I return to sports after laminectomy surgery?
After the operation, in around 8 weeks, patients can do sports again. It should be noted that physical therapy is needed during the recovery period to be able to recover properly.
Laminotomy vs. Laminectomy – what is the difference?
Both of the operations are spinal decompression operations. During the laminectomy, lamina is removed completely while in while in a laminotomy procedure lamina is removed partially.
What are the different types of laminectomy surgery?
Cervical Laminectomy and lumbar Laminectomy are the most common types of laminectomy operation. Also, lumbar Laminectomy is thought to be less invasive.