Laminectomy in Roseville, CA

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure to relieve the spinal nerve compression that results from spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas of the spinal canal. A herniated disc results when a disc, the gelatinous tissue between two vertebrae, protrudes outside the parameters of the spine. Both spinal stenosis and disc herniation result in excessive pressure on adjacent spinal nerves, causing pain, cramping, numbness, tingling or weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, lower back or legs, depending on where on the spine the problem occurs. Both conditions may result from aging, injury, or arthritic deterioration.

While many cases of spinal stenosis or disc herniation can be successfully treated through one or more conservative methods, such as rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, or the support of a back brace, in some instances these treatments are insufficient. If the symptoms of spinal stenosis or disc herniation become progressively worse, a laminectomy may be recommended. This minimally invasive surgical procedure can provide effective relief from pain, numbness and weakness.

The Laminectomy Procedure

A laminectomy is performed through the affected area of the back while the patient is under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision and retracts the muscles and ligaments to obtain access to the spine. An imaging device is typically used during the surgery so that the structures of the vertebrae can be precisely visualized and the problem area pinpointed.

Depending on the extent of the damage, the lamina may be removed in portions or in its entirety on both sides of the spine. Typically, the surgeons in our practice minimize the amount of excision in order to provide a minimally invasive intervention. However, sometimes the entire lamina is removed, depending on the extent of the damage. By removing the lamina, bone spurs and other debris, the compression of the spinal cord and spinal nerves is alleviated and symptoms improve. The laminectomy procedure typically lasts from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the extent of the operations and the number of involved levels of the spine.

Recovery From A Laminectomy

A laminectomy usually relieves much or all of the pain and numbness that patients have suffered as a result of stenosis or disc herniation. The surgery is typically performed as either a same-day surgery or a one night stay in the hospital. Soon afterward, a physical therapy regimen is initiated to build up muscle strength and flexibility. For several weeks following the procedure, activities that require reaching, bending and lifting will be restricted.

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