Laminotomy and laminectomy are two surgical procedures performed on the section of a spinal bone called the lamina. Laminotomies involve removal of only a minor segment of the lamina, while laminectomies involve removal of most or all of the lamina. Both procedures are performed to relieve excessive pressure on the spinal cord or its associated nerve roots caused by degenerative discs, herniation, bulging discs and spinal stenosis.
Each of your spinal bones (vertebrae) has a flat, oval-shaped main body and a rear section that roughly resembles a pair of outspread wings. The rear portion of the main vertebral body forms the front wall of the spinal canal, while the various structures in the rear section form the rear and sides of the canal. Your lamina sits in the middle of this rear section and forms the rear wall of the canal, also known as the canal “roof.”
Laminotomy and Laminectomy Procedure
The minimally invasive spine procedure is performed through a very small incision(s), less than an inch in size. A small tube is placed in between the muscle fibers to preserve muscles, tendons and ligaments. Through this small tube, specialized instruments are used to decompress nerve roots, thus alleviating pain, weakness, and other symptoms. More space is created in the spinal canal by shaving small amounts of lamina, which is the bone covering the posterior of the spinal canal. Depending on the severity of your condition, your surgeon may perform a laminotomy or a laminectomy.
Laminotomy and Laminectomy Benefits
The physician can treat multiple levels and are usually completed in 60 minutes or less and many patients experience immediate relief and are discharged soon after the surgery and can resume light activities the following day.