Lumbar laminectomy addresses pain or numbness in the lower spine caused by lumbar spinal stenosis, tumors, or a herniated disk. Due to degeneration or enlargement of the facet joints, as well as tumors or disk herniation, pathways through which the spinal cord and nerves pass are narrowed and constricted. The resultant pressure leads to tingling, chronic pain, and numbness. These symptoms often radiate down the legs as well. This is referred to as sciatica.
In order to alleviate pressure, a two to five-inch incision is created in the mid-line of the lower back. Surrounding muscle tissue is dissected, exposing the lamina region of the spine. The surgeon will remove part or all of the lamina, revealing the nerve root. Bone material is then trimmed from the facet joints residing over the nerve roots, providing them sufficient space to heal.
Patients are typically discharged from the hospital within 1-3 days following surgery. Previous patient health and history are key determinants of recovery. Most individuals are encouraged to walk the day of surgery and can return to daily activities within a number of weeks. Strenuous activity such as bending and lifting must be limited for 6-8 weeks following surgery. The majority of patients undergoing a Lumbar Laminectomy receive pain relief and mobility restoration within several weeks.