Illinois Spine & Scoliosis Center
Spine Surgeons & Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation located in Homer Glen, IL & Woodridge, IL
If you live with ongoing back, neck, leg, or arm pain caused by spinal stenosis, it's time to learn how a laminectomy can help. The board-certified spine surgeons at Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center specialize in minimally invasive laminectomy, a procedure that effectively eases the excruciating pain caused by pinched spinal nerves. To learn if a laminectomy can help you enjoy a pain-free life, call the office in Homer Glen or Woodridge, Illinois, or request an appointment online today.
Laminectomy Q & A
What is a laminectomy?
A laminectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to decompress nerves in your neck and back. During a laminectomy, your provider takes pressure off the nerves by removing part of the vertebra along with other structures.
When would I need a laminectomy?
Laminectomies treat spinal stenosis, a condition that occurs when the spinal openings narrow. These openings include the spinal canal, where nerves travel through your spine, as well as the foramen, where nerves enter and exit the spinal cord.
You can develop spinal stenosis after a traumatic injury, but it most often occurs due to conditions such as:
- Herniated discs
- Bone spurs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Swollen facet joints
- Thickened ligaments
- Slipped vertebrae
A slipped vertebra throws the spinal canal out of alignment. The other conditions cause spinal stenosis as they protrude into the bony openings.
What symptoms indicate I need a laminectomy?
As spinal stenosis compresses the nerves, you experience:
- Pain in your back or neck (depending on where spinal stenosis is located)
- Pain radiating down your legs or arms
- Tingling or numbness in your legs or arms
- Muscle weakness in your legs or arms
- Leg cramps
- Hand weakness
- Difficulty walking
Spinal stenosis may occur in your neck (cervical spine), but it most often affects your lower back (lumbar spine).
What happens during a laminectomy?
Your provider begins by making a small incision and moving the muscles out of the way without cutting them. They use specialized surgical instruments that fit through the tiny incision to perform:
During a laminectomy, your provider removes one or both lamina. The lamina form the back side of your vertebrae. The bony piece that sticks out from the back of the vertebrae, the spinous process, lies in the middle of the lamina. Removing the bone creates more space and takes pressure off the nerves.
In some cases, they perform a laminotomy, which is a partial laminectomy.
Your provider at Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center also repairs other problems contributing to your spinal stenosis. For example, they may remove thickened ligaments or a herniated disc, enlarge the foramen, or eliminate facet bone spurs.
Your surgery may affect the strength of your spine, depending on the structures your surgeon removes. In some cases, you may need a disc replacement, spinal fusion, or supportive instrumentation to restore spinal stability.
To learn how a laminectomy can ease your back or neck pain, call Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center or book an appointment online today.
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