Lumbar Laminectomy

Before, During and After Surgery

Lumbar Laminectomy

A Lumbar Laminectomy is a surgery in which the Neurosurgeon removes a back part of a vertebra in the lower part of the back to expand the space in the spinal canal. 

Lumbar Laminectomy can relieve pain caused by pressure on the spinal nerves. 

In general, this type of surgery is chosen when medications, physical therapies or injections have not been successful or when the patient's symptoms worsen

Before Lumbar Laminectomy 

The Neurosurgeon reviews your medical history and asks questions about your symptoms, lifestyle, medical history, and if you are taking any medications. 

The Neurosurgeon may perform various tests to ensure that you can undergo Lumbar Laminectomy. 

Following are some of the possible tests to perform:

  •  X-Ray of the spine 

  • MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging  

  • CT Myelography 

Follow all the Neurosurgeon; if you are a smoker, you should stop smoking, you must fast before lumbar Laminectomy, do not eat any food or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the procedure. 


During Lumbar Laminectomy

The Neurosurgeon will use general anesthesia; the patient will not feel pain. The surgery will take approximately 1 to 3 hours.

  • The patient will lie face down; the Neurosurgeon will cut (incision) in the middle of the back or neck

  • The skin, muscles, and ligaments will be removed. The Neurosurgeon may use a surgical microscope to see inside the back

  • All or part of the laminar bones on both sides of the spine may be removed with the spinous process, the angular part of the spine

  • The Neurosurgeon will remove any small pieces of discs, bone spurs, or other soft tissue

  • The Neurosurgeon may perform a foraminotomy to enlarge the opening where the nerve roots travel out of the spine

  • The Neurosurgeon may perform a lumbar spinal fusion to verify that the spine is in place after surgery

To finish, the Neurosurgeon will put everything in place and close the opening with stitches.


After Lumbar Laminectomy

After the Lumbar Laminectomy, you will be taken to the room where you can stay for a few days in the hospital. The  Neurosurgeon can control, review your symptoms, and rule out any possible infection.

Following the instructions of your Neurosurgeon, you may have a speedy recovery, and after four weeks, you can resume light work.


¿Am I a candidate for this procedure? 

Neurosurgeon generally recommends a Lumbar Laminectomy in the following cases: 

  • Pain from pinched nerves 

  • Degenerative or isthmic spondylolisthesis 

  • An unusual synovial cyst

  • A fracture with a bone that occupies the lumbar spinal canal 

Visit the Neurosurgeon if you have any of the symptoms mentioned or detect another abnormal sign. When consulting your Neurosurgeon, try to keep a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.