If you have ever slept in a weird position, picked up something a bit too heavy, or been hunched over at your desk too long, you may experience some back pain. Usually, that pain will subside over a few hours or days, and you may need to rest for a while or take some over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the pain. Fortunately, individuals will generally experience pain relief and not require medical treatment options.
Some people, however, experience more serious back pain resulting from such conditions as bone spurs, a herniated disk, arthritis, or compression of the spinal nerves. Whether it was an injury, trauma, or degenerative condition, the pain that these individuals feel will generally not subside after a few days of bed rest. It usually grows worse.
Our spine care team at New York Spine Specialist has the experience, knowledge, and skills to diagnose your spinal cord condition and develop a customized treatment program to relieve pain, including physical therapy or surgery. In some cases, that may be spine surgery, specifically lumbar laminectomy surgery.
The lumbar laminectomy procedure relieves pressure on the nerve roots in the spine. It is most commonly performed to relieve spinal stenosis pain, a narrowing of the spinal canal that is often caused by the formation of bony growths (also known as bone spurs) that can press against the nerve roots.
The surgeon may treat one or more vertebrae to create space in the spinal cord during spine surgery. There are inherent risks involved with every kind of surgical procedure, so the lumbar laminectomy is only performed when other more conservative treatments cannot relieve symptoms.
Cervical laminectomy or lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure that creates space by removing the lamina, the back part of the vertebra that covers your spinal canal. It is also known as decompression surgery because laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve the spinal cord or nerves.
Laminectomy is typically performed to alleviate pain from lumbar spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is caused by degenerative changes that lead to enlargement of the facet joints in the back of the vertebrae. The enlarged joints and related degenerative changes place pressure on the nerve roots to exit the spine.
Lumbar laminectomy may also be done in cases where the patient has a herniated disk because removing part of the lamina bones may be necessary to access the damaged disk.
In general, a laminectomy may be the procedure of choice for orthopedic surgeons if you have weakness in the muscles, numbness, which makes it difficult to stand or walk, or you have a loss of bowel or bladder control in addition to pain in the lumbar region.
Laminectomy is considered a major surgical procedure, so you will be placed under general anesthesia and feel no pain during the process. Your vital signs will, of course, be closely monitored by the surgical team to ensure that your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels remain in a good range. Once you are unconscious, the surgeon can begin.
During the laminectomy procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in the back over the area of affected vertebral bones. Muscles will be moved out of the way so the doctor can easily access the spine. The size of the incision site will vary depending on your condition.
If a herniated disk is also removed, that will be part of the laminectomy surgery. The surgeon removes the necessary part of the disk and any other broken pieces. For those with disks that have slipped over one another, a spinal fusion may also be required to stabilize the spine.
After the surgery, you will be moved to a recovery room, where you will continue to be monitored by your health care team. They will be watching for any signs of possible complications from the surgical procedure and the use of spinal anesthesia. Some potential risks from the surgery include bleeding, infection, blood clots, nerve injury, and spinal fluid leaks.
Once you come out of your unconscious state, you will be asked to move your arms and legs during the recovery time. Prescription pain killers may be given at the incision site.
Patients can usually get out of bed within an hour or two after surgery. If not, you will be instructed to move your neck only carefully and comfortably. Most patients leave the hospital the day after surgery and are safe to drive within a week or two. Some patients can return to their homes on the same day as their surgery, but that is not usually the case.
Once you have been released from the hospital, you may need physical therapy to regain your strength and flexibility. If you have an occupation that requires lifting or other strenuous activities, your recovery time may be extended.
This procedure relieves pressure on the nerve roots in the spine. It is most commonly performed to relieve the pain of stenosis. This is a narrowing of the spinal canal that is often caused by the formation of bony growths that can press against the nerve roots. The surgeon may treat one or more vertebrae.
Laminectomy is typically performed to alleviate pain from lumbar spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is caused by degenerative changes that lead to enlargement of the facet joints in the back of the vertebrae. The enlarged joints and related degenerative changes place pressure on the nerve roots as they exit the spine.
If you are suffering from pain radiating down your back and into your legs or up into your arms, you may need a laminectomy. At New York Spine Specialist, our spine surgery team will evaluate your situation and work to determine if your condition may be improved by surgery.
We will conduct imaging tests such as x-rays or MRI to get a full picture of what is happening in your spine, and we will take your severe symptoms into account. When other conservative treatments have failed to provide you relief, it may be time to operate.
Consult one of our spine specialists to see if you’re a candidate for this procedure. We are here to help you get back on the path to living a pain-free life!
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