Lumbar (Low Back) Pain Laminectomy

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Laminectomy Surgery as a Lumbar Pain Treatment

Depending on what is causing it, back pain can become progressively worse, and increasingly disabling. When analgesics and other treatments no longer work, surgery may be the only solution. One type of surgery available to sufferers from lumbar spine pain is a laminectomy.

Lumbar Pain Treatment – Laminectomy

Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45. In terms of time lost from work, back pain is second only to the common cold. When conservative treatments have failed to provide relief from the pain, a laminectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to relieve pressure from spinal stenosis.  Spinal stenosis can cause pain, weakness and numbness and can radiate down your arms or legs.  A laminectomy relieves the symptoms not the actual lumbar pain.

 

Is Surgical Laminectomy the Right Lumbar Pain Treatment For You?

Lower back pain is as old as time itself. In fact, Egyptian papyrus 3,500 years old has been found to contain discussions of back pain. Frequently, lumbar spine pain can be treated using medications, physical therapy or chiropractic treatment, sometimes a combination of all three. When such measures fail to offer relief, though, surgery may be the only solution.

One such surgical option is a laminectomy. Essentially, it’s the process of removing parts of the vertebrae that are causing the lumbar pain symptoms. It may also include removal of thickened tissue that is squeezing the spinal nerve roots and narrowing the spinal canal. Laminectomy relieves spinal nerve root pressure. It can also be used to correct spinal injuries, tumors, herniated discs and other conditions. A successful laminectomy can relieve pain and allow the patient to return to the daily activities he or she once enjoyed.

Sometimes, laminectomy is accompanied by spinal fusion – this is a technique that stabilizes sections of the spine. With this procedure, bone is harvested and is used to create a bridge between adjacent vertebrae, and it works to stimulate new bone growth.

In extreme cases, instrument fusion may also be employed. This is a process whereby implants (screws, rods, plates, wires or hooks) are attached to the vertebrae in order to hold them together until the new bone begins to grow.

The method used will depend on your overall health, your age, and how many vertebrae have been compromised.

Post-surgery, you will need a period to recover before you can resume your day-to-day activities.

Laminectomy is warranted when non-surgical treatments don’t work to alleviate your lumbar pain. If your daily activities become difficult, and your pain is severe, you may be a candidate for laminectomy. Other indications include difficulty controlling your bowels or bladder, or trouble walking steadily.

Laminectomy is generally effective, and most patients notice improvement within three months. There is little risk from this procedure, but as with any surgical intervention, there is a slight risk of problems due to anesthesia, and the potential for infection. In very rare cases, the spine may become more unstable than it was before the surgery

At a Glance: Laminectomy Surgery

  • Laminectomy is a surgical option for severe lumbar back pain that does not respond to medications or other treatments.
  • Laminectomy removes parts of your vertebrae, and sometimes the surrounding tissue.
  • Laminectomy may be accompanied by spinal fusion.
  • The recovery period from lumbar laminectomy is usually three months.

Lumbar Spine Health Tips

  • Regular exercise helps to relieve lumbar pain and promotes healthy bone growth
  • Be careful when carrying heavy objects, and try to not to carry significantly more weight on one side than on the other
  • Don’t sit too long in one position – it compresses the spine
  • If back pain becomes worse or doesn’t go away, see a spine health expert to get to the bottom of it

Health Tips

  • Always eat breakfast
  • Eat your fruit and veg
  • Take time to shop each week
  • Sit down at the table to eat
  • Get adequate rest daily.

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