Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic staff
Laminectomy is most commonly performed to relieve the pressure spinal stenosis places on your spinal cord or nerves. This pressure can cause pain, weakness or numbness that can radiate down your arms or legs. Laminectomy is usually better at relieving these types of radiating symptoms than it is at relieving actual back pain.
Your doctor may recommend laminectomy if:
- Conservative treatment, such as medication or physical therapy, fails to improve your symptoms
- You have muscle weakness or numbness that makes standing or walking difficult
- You experience loss of bowel or bladder control
In some cases, laminectomy may be necessary as part of surgery to treat a herniated spinal disk. Your surgeon may need to remove part of the lamina to gain access to the damaged disk.
- Back pain. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Back_Pain/default.asp#10. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis. North American Spine Society. http://www.knowyourback.org/Documents/stenosis.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Curlee PM. Spinal stenosis. In: Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed May 13, 2001.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00329. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Cervical stenosis and myelopathy. North American Spine Society. http://www.knowyourback.org/Documents/cerv_myelopathy.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Levin K. Lumbar spinal stenosis: Treatment and prognosis. http://uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Aminoff MJ. Mechanical and other lesions of the spine, nerve roots and spinal cord. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. About your laminectomy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Williams KD, et al. Lumbar disc disease. In: Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed May 16, 2011.