Laminectomy

(Lamina Removal; Removal of the Lamina; Laminotomy)

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Definition

A laminectomy is a surgery to remove a small portion of a vertebra called the lamina. Vertebrae are the bones of the spine. The lamina is a small tall like portion on the rear of the vertebra.In some cases, only a portion of the lamina is removed from the vertebra. This procedure is known as laminotomy.
Laparoscopic Laminectomy
Laparoscopic Laminectomy
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Reasons for Procedure

A laminectomy is usually done to help take pressure off your spinal cord or a nerve running out from your spinal cord. It is also done to gain access to the spinal cord, bones, and discs that are below the lamina. Herniated discs , bony spurs, or other problems can cause narrowing of the canals that the nerves and spinal cord run through. This can irritate the nerve if it gets too narrow. Often, a laminectomy is done along with a disk removal to help make the canal larger and take pressure off the nerve being irritated. When the spinal cord or other nerves get irritated, they can cause:
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Pain in an arm or leg
Physical therapy and medication will be tried first.The surgery is done when other treatments have not worked. It is most often done to treat symptoms that keep getting worse.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, tingling, or paralysis
  • Problems related to anesthesia
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
  • Another medical condition, particularly heart or lung problems
  • Obesity
  • Increased age
  • Smoking

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