A laminectomy or decompression surgery occurs when a surgeon removes a portion or all of the vertebral bone known as the lamina. Laminectomy operations are performed to relieve the compression of the nerves or the spinal cord that may be caused by a variety of different conditions. The main goal of a laminectomy is to enlarge the spinal canal in order to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

A laminectomy is typically only considered when conservative treatments such as injections, medications, or physical therapy have not relieved symptoms. If symptoms are becoming increasingly worse, a laminectomy may also be an option.

What Conditions Does a Laminectomy Treat?

The purpose of a laminectomy is to treat conditions that lead to compression of the spinal cord or nerves. Some of these conditions are spinal stenosis, a herniated disk, injuries, or tumors.

What Can I Expect During a Laminectomy?

A laminectomy is almost always performed under general anesthesia, where you will be unconscious during the procedure. Throughout the surgery, your blood pressure, blood oxygen, and heart rate will all be measured with the help of a blood pressure cuff and heart monitor.

Prior to the surgery, you will be asked to remove your clothing and put on a gown. Next, the area of skin near the surgical site will be cleansed so that the surgeon can make an incision over the vertebra.

Then, he or she will spread the back muscles apart and remove the lamina. During this process, the removal of all or part of a disk, bone spurs, or growths may occur. The incision will then be closed with surgical staples or stitches. Lastly, a sterile bandage will be applied.

How Will I Recover from a Laminectomy?

Following the laminectomy, you will be moved to the recovery room and observed by medical professionals. Once you are alert and your pulse, breathing, and blood pressure are all stable, you will be transported to a hospital bed.

The evening after your surgery, you will probably get out of bed and walk around. Your medical team may recommend an exercise plan to follow in the hospital and following discharge. Pain will be controlled through medications so participating in walking and other exercises will be possible.

Once you have been discharged from the hospital, it will be vital to keep the incision area dry and clean by following the specific instructions given to you by your doctor. Your stitches or surgical staples will be removed during a follow-up doctor’s visit.

You should continue to take pain relief medications prescribed by your doctor. If you experience a fever, increased pain near the incision site, loss of bladder control, or numbness in your back, legs, or buttocks, you must notify your doctor immediately. Driving should also be avoided until your doctor informs you that it is safe to do so.

Who Performs Laminectomy Procedures?

A laminectomy is usually performed by a surgeon. When you select a specialized spine and pain clinic such as EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region, a laminectomy will be executed by a board-certified surgeon who concentrates solely on back, neck, and spine surgeries.

EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region delivers the highest quality of care to patients in the Unifour area so you won’t have to go through the hassle of traveling to Charlotte or Winston-Salem to receive exceptional care.

Our practice does not require an MRI before you schedule an appointment so you don’t have to worry about delaying your treatment. In addition, all of our surgeries and procedures are performed at multiple hospitals in the area so you can eliminate the hassle of traveling far for treatment.

The Frye Regional Medical Center & Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, Caldwell UNC Healthcare in Lenoir, and Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge in Morganton are all hospitals you have the option of selecting from for your surgery or procedure.