Relieve Pressure and Reduce Pain through a Laminectomy Procedure

By Dr. Robert Josey on October 17, 2015

Image of a growth of the spinal cordThere are a number of factors that can lead to back pain, including injuries, tumors, growths, and herniated discs. No matter the cause, back pain can be extremely tough to live with. Back pain can limit or inhibit movements and make it difficult to perform even the most basic of physical tasks. When conservative treatments fail to relieve patients of this pain and other symptoms, spine surgery to correct the source of the discomfort may become necessary. A laminectomy procedure is offered at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin to restore a better quality of living for qualified candidates.

Laminectomy Candidates

A laminectomy procedure may be performed when other, less invasive forms of back treatment have proven unsuccessful in treating back pain and weakness and numbness in the arms and legs. In general, a laminectomy is intended to create space in the spinal canal and relieve pressure. A laminectomy procedure may be appropriate for patients experiencing compression or pain in the spine due to any of the following:

  • Bony overgrowths (often a result of arthritis)
  • Tumor or growth
  • Herniated discs
  • Injury

The Procedure

A laminectomy is a serious surgical procedure and is most likely to be performed with the patient under the effects of general anesthesia. All vital signs will be monitored throughout the procedure to ensure the safety of the patient.

Once a patient is put under, the surgeon will make an incision over the area of the back that has been affected. The muscle in this area will be moved aside so that the spine can be accessed. Using small instruments, the surgeon will then remove the necessary amount of lamina (part of the vertebrae that covers the spinal canal). This serves to enlarge the spinal canal and relieve compression. If any other injuries are present (such as a herniated disc or slipped disc), additional alterations may be performed to correct these problems. A herniated disc may be treated by removing the herniated portion of the disc, and slipped discs or other injuries may require a spinal fusion.

After all necessary corrections have been made, the incision will be closed using staples or sutures, and the patient will be moved to recovery.

Results

The exact results of a laminectomy procedure will vary from patient to patient, but most report a significant reduction in symptoms. While this procedure can alleviate back pain to a degree, it is especially effective in relieving weakness and numbness that may radiate out to the arms and legs when the spine is compressed. It is important to note that, if a laminectomy is being performed to treat bone growths that are a result of arthritis, the condition is likely to continue to worsen over time. In these cases, additional treatment may be necessary down the road.

Contact Us

At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, we have a team of doctors who can help you take control of pain that affects the back, hands, wrists, shoulders, and more. If you would like to learn more about our services, contact us at your earliest convenience to speak with a member of our team. We look forward to meeting you.

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