Laminectomy Surgery | Virginia Spine Institute


Laminectomy is a very common spinal procedure in which the lamina bone is removed. As we live our life and use our spine, the discs which are the soft tissue structures of our spine often will start to degenerate and other structures become arthritic and enlarged both putting pressure on surrounding spinal structures. The goal of a laminectomy is to relieve this pressure on the spinal cord or surrounding nerves. A laminectomy can be performed in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine, however the lumbar is the most common location. Often patients that are candidates for this procedure have symptoms of pain, stiffness, numbness, burning/tingling sensation, trouble with coordination, or radiating pain into the arms or legs.

Conditions That Benefit From Laminectomy

Benefits of Laminectomy

  • Relief of pain, numbness, or tingling
  • Fast recovery
  • Small incision
  • Maintains motion

Laminectomy FAQs

What is a Laminectomy?

Lumbar laminectomy surgery is a very common procedure that involves the removal of the lamina bone with the goal of relieving pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

How is a laminectomy performed?

The procedure removes a piece of spinal bone to decompress the nerves. The approach is done from the back. The patient will be under general anesthesia lying face down. There is a small incision made in the skin at the appropriate spinal level. The surgeon will dissect through muscle and soft tissue until reaching the lamina and removing it to relieve pressure on the nerves.

What Symptoms Are Commonly Treated With a Laminectomy?

Individuals that may benefit from lumbar laminectomy surgery are those suffering from leg pain caused by a pinched nerve, and experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain and stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Burning/tingling sensation
  • Weakness
  • Trouble with coordination
  • Radiating pain/numbness/tingling into arms and legs

Is a laminectomy done with other spinal surgeries as well?

Yes, this procedure is to relieve pressure on surrounding nerve structures and often may be one component of a larger surgical plan. For instance, some patients undergoing lumbar fusion surgery may need this procedure as well because the fusion alone did not restore enough space around the spinal canal or nerve structures.

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