What Is Lumbar Laminectomy?

Lumbar laminectomy is a procedure that involves removing bone to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the lower back or lumbar spine. Laminectomy removes the roof of the vertebrae to allow space for nerves exiting the spine. A lumbar laminectomy can relieve chronic lower back pain and leg pain that radiates.

Who needs lumbar laminectomy?

When your spinal canal gradually narrows, it causes a condition called spinal stenosis. Narrowing occurs as your facet joints and discs degenerate. Arthritic facet joints can enlarge, decreasing space for nerve roots. Sometimes bone spurs protrude into the spinal canal. They put pressure on nerve roots, which causes back pain, pain radiating to the hips, buttocks and legs, plus numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the back or legs and feet.

We relieve pressure on spinal nerves by removing anything that is causing pressure. Your spine specialist will examine your back and may order an X-ray, CT scan or MRI of your spine. We typically recommend lumbar laminectomy after conservative treatments with medication, rest and physical therapy fail to relieve symptoms. We sometimes perform lumbar laminectomy together with spinal fusion surgery. The surgeon places bone grafts between affected vertebrae to promote bone growth and fusion. Once fusion occurs, the spine becomes stabilized.

How long does it take to recover from lumbar laminectomy?

After lumbar laminectomy, you may feel immediate improvement in some or all of your symptoms. Some symptoms improve gradually. Expect to be up and walking by the end of the first day after spine surgery. The length of your recovery will depend on several factors, including your overall condition, the nature of your procedure and your body’s ability to heal.

Patients come to us for lower back pain treatment from Vernon, South Windsor, Manchester, Hartford, Bloomfield, Ellington and surrounding areas.