What Is a Laminectomy?

laminectomy 300x200 When it comes to your spine, there’s quite a lot happening in a limited space. When things get too tight and lead to nerve pain, getting a laminectomy may be a viable surgical remedy.

Understanding Spinal Pressure

Your spine does more than help you maintain good posture. Your vertebrae — the spinal bones — also surround and protect your spinal canal, a cavity containing essential nerves.

Unfortunately, vertebrae don’t always develop in an optimal way. As you age, you may grow bone spurs that penetrate the spinal canal. Some individuals are also at higher risk due to their genetic backgrounds or prior injuries.

This can put pressure on your spinal cord, leading to major side effects in body parts like your arms and legs. For instance, you may experience pain, loss of sensation, or physical weakness.

How Can a Laminectomy Help?

laminectomy relieves this pressure. It reclaims space in your spinal canal by removing the lamina, which is the rear part of the vertebra.

Depending on the severity of your case, surgeons can extract an entire lamina or just a portion. There are two main types of laminectomy:

  • Cervical laminectomy: In this procedure, a surgeon targets one of the bones in your neck.
  • Lumbar laminectomy: This laminectomy targets the lower back region of your spine.

Are There Risks Involved in a Laminectomy?

Any surgery carries some degree of risk. For laminectomies, potential hazards include bleeding, infection, and clotting. Patients may also suffer nerve injuries or leaking spinal fluid.

With that said, these risks are manageable with appropriate care. Effective surgeons can perform this procedure in a minimally invasive way, and most people return to their normal lives with significantly less pain afterward.

Should You Get a Laminectomy?

Laminectomies won’t help you relieve back pain, but they can help with nerve issues like muscle weakness or incontinence. In most cases, your physician or neurologist will evaluate more conservative alternatives before recommending this procedure. It’s best to get a comprehensive assessment, especially if you face other spinal issues that could require surgical intervention.

Take Steps Towards Improved Health at Princeton Neurological Surgery

If you’ve received a laminectomy recommendation, discussing your case with a dependable surgeon is the next step. Ready to start heading down the road to improved spinal health? Chat with the team at Princeton Neurological Surgery by filling out the online form or by calling 609-890-3400 to book an appointment.

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