A lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure performed by a spine surgeon to relieve pressure on a spinal nerve in the low back. Another term for a laminectomy is spinal decompression meaning it removes tissue that is compressing a nerve. Tissues that may compress a nerve in the lumbar spine include bone (eg, osteophyte) and/or disc material (eg, herniated disc).
Lumbar Laminectomy is suggested for patients who face back and leg pain caused by nerve root compression that has not responded to conservative treatment. Nerve root compression places pressure on nerve roots in the lower spine.
Depending on the amount of lamina removed or the technique used to relieve neural compression, a lumbar laminectomy can be of the following types:
In some lumbar vertebrae, the facets may be partially or completely removed. In such cases, a fusion of the vertebrae is considered to retain stability.
All operations have risks. Complications occur rarely, but include the following:
Using a minimally invasive laminectomy, the location of the incision is often established by an intraoperative X-ray, using fluoroscopy. A skin incision about 1 inch in length is made to one side of the middle of the back at the surgical level. Dilators are placed sequentially to split the muscle down to the lamina, the back part of the spine. In contrast to traditional open back surgery that requires a large incision causing more damage to muscles and tissues, minimally invasive spine surgery has become the leading way to treat spine problems. Minimally invasive spine surgery also lessens the hospital stay, (many procedures can be performed as day surgery or 23 hour stay), reduces pain, results in less operative blood loss, allows for faster return to work and activities, and reduces the risk of infection than with traditional open back surgery.
Q. Will I need rehabilitation or physical therapy?
A. Physical therapy may be useful for strengthening the lower back and increasing its range of motion. It may be begun after the follow-up visit 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Q. Will I have any long-term limitations due to lumbar laminectomy?
A. There are no long-term limitations due to lumbar laminectomy.
Q: Who usually treats the lumbar spine disease?
A: A neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon who are qualified and having expertise in spine surgery can treat the disease.
Q: How long will be the hospital stay after the surgery?
A: The patient will usually be discharged in 24 hours. If Laminectomy procedure is combined with spinal infusion, the hospital stay may be up to 3 to 5 days.
Q: What are the benefits of the surgery?
A: After the surgery the patients will get relief from pain and be able to perform normal activities. However, in some cases there are chances of reoccurrence in the same disc or adjacent disc depending on the underlying cause.
Q: Does the surgery remove the entire disc?
A: The ruptured and damaged portion of the disc is only removed during the surgery which accounts for 10 to 20% depending on the extent of stenosis.
Q: How long it will take to go back to the work?
A: The hospital stay is usually 24 hours and the patient can return to work within a week or two depending on the pain with some instructions. Strenous activities such as bending and lifting objects should be avoided up to 6 months.
Q: What are the Risks of Laminectomy?
A: Laminectomy is associated with risks of any operative procedure and some risks specific to the procedure. There are some short and long term risks of the procedure:
Q: What will be the after care of Laminectomy?
A: The surgeon recommends post operative mobility as soon as the patient gets stabilized which is usually after 24 hrs. Walking will be the first exercise after surgery followed by physical therapy exercises.
Q: What are the Types of Laminectomy?
A: Laminectomy can be done by three different procedures such as
Q: What is the rate of success for laminectomy?
A: After the surgery, according to the medical literature, 80% of the patients got improvements in their function. In most of the patients, the pain and discomfort was remarkably reduced after the surgery.
Q: What is the percentage rate of mortality after Laminectomy?
A: The mortality rate for laminectomy is 0.8% to 1% according to the medical reports.
Q: Is Laminectomy a safe procedure? What are the chances of spinal damage during the process?
A: Laminectomy is a low risk surgery with more satisfying results. The risk of bowel, bowel inconvenience is very low. Surgery and patient recovery is very safe.
Q: What are the eligibility requirements for a medical visa to India and advantages of doing the surgery in India?
A: A valid passport and visa should be required for medical treatment in India. The medical treatment in India offers low cost, excellent panel of doctors who are highly skilled in Laminectomy surgery and excellent recovery assistance. Patient can be accompanied by two attendants who are blood relatives on the same visa which will be valid up to one year with a maximum of 3 entries.