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Laminectomy: Understanding the Treatment

Understanding Laminectomy Spine Treatment

Finally finding the procedure to provide relief for your neck and back pain can feel like a victory, but sometimes understanding the details of a recommended treatment (or even how to pronounce its name) can feel like it’s own challenge. Q Spine Institute is here to help provide clarity on the ins and outs of one of our common procedures: Laminectomy.

Defining Laminectomy

To understand how a laminectomy relieves pain, let’s begin with the textbook definition of the treatment and the unique parts of the spine it affects.

  • Laminectomy: minimally invasive procedure removing parts of the lamina to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots causing pain and weakness.
  • Lamina: this back portion of the vertebrae can be described as the “roof” of the spinal canal covering the spinal cord or nerves.

Overall, the goal of a laminectomy is to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve by widening the spinal canal. Bone spurs and ligaments pressing on nerves may be removed at the same time. After removal of parts of the vertebrae a spinal fusion procedure may be done in conjunction with a laminectomy to provide stability to the spine by fusing select vertebrae together. Relieving pressure from the spinal cord should lessen chronic or acute pain as well as weakness often linked to nerve issues.

What Laminectomy Treats

While understanding the treatment is important, it is equally important to understand what conditions and symptoms a laminectomy manages. We’ve mentioned this procedure widens the openings within the vertebrae of the spinal column to relieve pain due to pressure, but what conditions cause this pressure and why?

  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Arm and leg pain or weakness
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Stabilize the spine (in conjunction with a spinal fusion treatment)


What to Expect from Laminectomy

At Q Spine Institute, a laminectomy is performed as a minimally invasive surgery. All minimally invasive candidates can expect smaller incisions and shorter recovery time compared to traditional “open” back surgery. Patients often go home same day as the procedure and feel relief from their pre-surgery pain rapidly.

Through consultation, your doctor can determine if any other surgical procedures should coincide with the laminectomy to treat any other conditions that might worsen nerve compression. In these cases, an endoscopic foraminotomy is often performed alongside the laminectomy in a combined procedure called a laminoforaminotomy decompression. Discussing your pain symptoms and condition with your physician will help determine if a laminectomy or a combined treatment will be the best fit.


At Q Spine Institute, we make it our top priority to give our patients the best care possible and return their quality of life to them. If you have questions about your back pain or laminectomy and would like to speak to one of our spine specialists, contact the Q Spine team at (732) 660-8942 or request a free phone consultation today.


Topics: Back Pain Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Minimally Invasive Spine Treatment Spinal Fusion Spine Surgery