What is a Lumbar Laminectomy?

What is a Lumbar Laminectomy? 1024 652 Phoenixspine Web

When spinal stenosis becomes severely symptomatic, the best treatment is surgery. The surgery to correct spinal stenosis is called a  laminectomy. This surgery involves removing the lamina, ligament, then shaving down the bone and discs in the spine. This is done to enlarge the spinal canal for spinal stenosis. During the 45 minute procedure, the patient is fully sedated.

To start, a small incision is made in the back. The muscles are spread to see the lamina, a tube is then inserted, and the surgeon begins drilling under direct vision. At the end of the operation, the tube is removed, the tissue is sewn up, and the healing begins. The operation is 45 minutes with an hour before and after for anesthesia.

When patients go home, they begin walking everyday. Patients should expect to be able to walk 10 minutes the first week, 20 minutes the second week and 30 minutes the third week. Dr. Lieberman suggests that patients do minimal activity at first; no bending, lifting or twisting in the first 3 weeks after surgery. This allows for everything to heal into position. During the first three days after the operation, the muscles of the back are sore. The pain then settles down at the end of the first week.

Most patients who work in offices are back to work at the end of the week. If you work where you’re on your feet a lot, and doing a lot of twisting, it is recommended to return after three weeks. If you do intensive work, like lifting over 50 pounds, patients can expect to get back to work in 6-12 weeks.

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