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What is Laminectomy?
Laminectomy, also known as decompression surgery, is a surgical procedure that is performed to enlarge the spinal canal to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves. In this procedure, the surgeon creates space by removing the lamina, which is the back part of the vertebra covering the spinal canal.

laminectomy

Doctors usually recommend Laminectomy when other treatment options are not effective in relieving the symptoms. Doctors also perform this surgery when the symptoms are severe or worsen dramatically.

Causes
The bony overgrowths within the spinal canal exert pressure on the spinal cord and nerves by narrowing the space available for them. This is usually found in patients suffering from arthritis in their spines. These overgrowths, also called bone spurs, are considered to be a normal side effect of the aging process in some people.

Need for Laminectomy

The doctor will recommend this procedure for the following cases,

  • When the patient experiences pain, and weakness or numbness radiating down through the arms or legs.
  • When this muscle weakness or numbness creates difficulty in standing or walking.
  • When there is a loss of bowel or bladder control
  • When all other treatment options, like, medication or physical therapy, is ineffective.

What is Discectomy?
It is a surgical procedure where all or part of the disk/or bone that is present on a nerve root is removed, to relieve the pain. This condition usually causes pain in the le due to a herniated disc in the lower back. Discectomy allows the nerve to heal properly as it creates more space.

Pre-Procedure
The doctor will advise the patient to

  • Avoid eating and drinking before the surgery
  • Stop taking certain medications that the patient might be taking


Procedure
The patient will be administered general anesthesia to make them unconscious during the procedure. The patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels will be monitored throughout the procedure.

The surgeon will then make an incision over the affected vertebra in the back and then shift the muscles away from the spine. Then the lamina is removed using small surgical instruments. The patient’s condition and the body size determine the size of the incision.

In the case of discectomy, a laminectomy is performed to treat the herniated disk. The surgeon will remove the herniated portion of the disk along with the pieces that have broken loose.

The surgeon might opt for spinal fusion to stabilize the spine. This is typically done in cases where the vertebrae slip over another one or the spine has a curvature. Here, the surgeon will connect two or more vertebrae together using bone grafts or metal rods and screws.

Post Procedure
After the surgery, the patient will be under observation to check for any complications from surgery and anesthesia. The patient might be asked to move their arms and legs.

The doctor might prescribe pain medications to relieve the pain at the incision site. Physical Therapy is usually recommended after a laminectomy, as it will help in improving the strength and flexibility of the patient.

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