Laminectomy and Laminotomy

spinal decompression surgeries

Orthopedics surgery

Procedure description

Laminectomy and laminotomy are 2 different types of spinal decompression surgeries involving the spine. A laminectomy is the total removal of the lamina(a bony protective covering at the back of the spinal canal); a laminotomy is the partial removal of the lamina. A neurosurgeon chooses one of these procedures to gain access to a compressed nerve that is causing neck or back pain and/or other nerve-related symptoms.

Laminectomies and laminotomies are performed using a posterior approach; you will be lying face down during the procedure.

The surgeon will begin by making an incision near the affected spinal level. Once the incision has been made, the surgeon will then perform a laminectomy or laminotomy, using a great deal of caution to avoid damaging the nerves or the spinal cord. In addition to carefully removing all or part of the lamina, the surgeon must remove all or part of a herniated disc, or bone spurs causing nerve compression.

Laminectomies and laminotomies have long been performed in a traditional, open way, but advances in spine surgery have allowed to use minimally invasive approaches for these procedures called microlaminectomy and microlaminotomy. They boast smaller incisions, less cutting/trauma to your muscles and tissues, and quicker recovery times. Minimally invasive spine surgery isn’t an option for everyone, and your specific spinal disorder and health status will help your doctor determine if it’s the right choice for you.


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