The Lumbar Spine has 5 vertebrae stacked on top of the sacrum.

Indications for a Lumbar Laminectomy:

This surgery is most often recommended for spinal stenosis (which causes pinched nerves), creating symptoms of leg or hip pain, weakness in legs or feet, numbness in legs or feet, and problems with bowel or bladder functions.

The Surgery

On some occasions, the lumbar laminectomy will be the best approach:

Under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the back, cutting between the muscles. The muscles are gently retracted to either side and thereby exposing the posterior elements and lamina. The lamina may be removed on one or both sides, allowing access to the foramen, nerve roots and disc.

From this position, the foramen may be “cleaned out” to provide more space for the nerve roots to exit, and the part of the disc that is pressing on the nerve can be removed. Muscles will be placed back in their normal, anatomical position, and the incision closed.

A lumbar laminectomy usually takes 1 to 1 3/4 hours, with additional levels taking as long as 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

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