Lumbar (Low Back) Pain Laminotomy

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Laminotomy Surgery as a Lumbar Pain Treatment

Laminotomy relieves pressure on the nerve root or spinal cord. It involves removing part of the lamina, the thin bony plates at the back of the spine. It is a procedure that is warranted when the physical problems in the spine are so severe that they will not respond to medication or other interventions.

Lumbar Pain Treatment – Laminotomy

When lumbar pain is not caused by muscular strain, other causes have to be investigated and compression on the lumbar spine’s nerve roots or the spinal cord are among those other causes. In this case, surgical intervention is may be warranted. Laminotomy is a minimally invasive procedure that removes part of the lamina, the thin plates of the spinal canal.


Is Surgical Laminotomy the Right Lumbar Pain Treatment For You?

A laminotomy is a surgery that is done to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve root. The name comes from two roots – lamina, and otomy.

The lamina are bony, thin plates that are located at the back of the spine, between the low back (lumbar), the cervical (neck) an the thoracic (mid-back) joints. The laminar plates protect the spinal canal, which contains the nerve rootlets and the spinal cord.

Otomy is a word meaning “to partially remove.”

A laminotomy works to take pressure away from the nerve roots and the spinal cord. Part of the lamina is taken out, and this relieves pressure and irritation on the nerves by opening up the nerve roots and the spinal cord.

Sometimes, a laminotomy is done in conjunction with a discectomy. This may be indicated when a herniated disc makes its way into the spinal canal and presses on the nerve roots and the spinal cord.

Before the surgery, your spine surgeon will explain the procedure to you in great detail. Generally speaking, the benefits of laminotomy will outweigh the risks, but no reputable surgeon will ever send you into the OR without letting you know all the risks. As is the case with any type of surgery, there is a slight risk of complications from the anesthesia. Modern technology, however, allows your anesthesiologist to closely monitor your condition, so the risk is minimized considerably.

During the surgery, you will be placed face-down on the operating table, and x-rays will be taken of your spinal area. Then, the spine surgeon will create an incision over your spine in order to expose the lamina. Then he or she will remove a portion of the laminar plate in order to expose the nerve roots and spinal cord. This will decompress the nerve roots and spinal cord and the incision will be closed.

Post-surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where medical staff will monitor your vital signs. Post-op, you will be expected to keep your incision clean and dry. You may need to wear a brace, and/or undergo physical therapy if your surgeon advises it. Medications will likely be prescribed for pain control, and you will not be able to lift heavy objects during the recovery period. Mild exercise, like walking, is encouraged.

No one should have to suffer lumbar pain, and when other methods fail, laminotomy may provide relief.

At a Glance: Laminotomy Surgery

  • Laminotomy relieves pressure on your lumbar spinal cord and nerve roots
  • Laminotomy is used when there is a physical problem in the nerve roots or spinal cord that causes lumbar pain
  • Laminotomy may be done in conjunction with discectomy if a herniated disc is involved

Lumbar Spine Pain Health Tips

  • If your condition is such that you require a laminotomy, there is little you can do to prevent it – it’s not a health issue; it’s a physical issue
  • Good  back care is always wise, so make sur you get enough exercise to ensure a strong spine and supporting abdominal muscles
  • Don’t lift heavy objects with your back – use your legs
  • Avoid sudden movements that could injure your back

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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