Laminotomy

With low risk and minimally invasive surgical procedures like the laminotomy, Providence can precisely detect and locate the cause of spinal compression and help cure the pain of spinal stenosis.

Your vertebrae surround your spinal cord. The lamina is the section of the vertebrae that acts as a roof above the spinal canal.

A laminotomy, sometimes called a spinal decompression, is a surgical procedure that involves the partial removal of the lamina from specific regions of the spinal column.

Often due to bone spurs or herniated disks, the nerve roots of the spinal cord push up against different parts of the spinal column, including the laminae. This pressure on the nerve roots and the spinal cord is known as spinal stenosis and causes intense back pain.

By removing the portions of laminae, a laminotomy increases the size of the spinal canal, helping relieve the source of pressure and compression, effectively eliminating the pain caused by spinal stenosis.

A laminotomy can be performed on all regions (lumbar, thoracic, and cervical) of the spinal column to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots. The most common procedure is a lumbar laminotomy. Unlike a laminectomy, a laminotomy requires less bone removal, making it less invasive and prone to fewer complications.

Before the procedure, your doctors will take X-ray images of your spine to locate part of the spine afflicted by spinal stenosis. The results will determine which vertebrae to operate on.

Before the procedure, you will receive an IV for antibiotics, as well as a catheter to control urine. Depending on your specific health condition, you will be given either general or spinal anesthesia.

During the procedure, you lie on your stomach as a small incision is made over the correct vertebrae in your spine. Dilators are used to create a corridor into the vertebrae, so that other muscles and ligaments remain untouched and unharmed throughout the operation.

A special bone drill is used to remove small portions of laminae at the site of nerve compression. Once these portions are removed, your surgeon will inspect your spine to ensure all pressure to your spinal canal is relieved.

After the operation, you will be monitored by your caregiving staff and will be asked to walk as soon as you feel comfortable, in order to ensure the procedure is a success. Most patients are able to leave the hospital on the day of their operation.

Because the procedure only removes only a small fragment of the laminae affected by spinal stenosis, patients are often satisfied with their spinal health post-operation. Still, some complications may arise depending on your specific health conditions.

These possible complications include leakage of the spinal fluid, blood clots and nerve injury. When you partner with Providence for your surgery, you can rest easy knowing your team of board-certified spinal surgeons have the skill and experience necessary to reduce your risk of complication.