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Laminotomy
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Laminotomy Spine Surgery

Laminotomy is a surgical procedure that helps to decompress the spinal cord or the spinal nerves that emerge from the vertebral column. It is done with aim of removing any structure that narrows the spinal canal and free the entrapped nerves. In this procedure a small incision is made in the lamina as opposed to laminectomy where the entire lamina is removed. As a result laminotomy procedure decompresses the spinal cord without compromising with the spinal stability. Any space occupying structure within the spinal canal like herniated or bulging disc, thickened ligament, osteophytes (bone spurs), facet joint thickening can compress the spinal cord resulting in symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness of the hand or legs. In extreme cases loss of bowel and bladder control is also observed. Laminotomy aims at making an incision in the lamina, to remove a small part of it, creating room for the spinal cord within the canal. This relieves the compression and thus the symptoms disappear. Through the hole in the lamina, the thickened ligament or disc fragment which may be compressing the cord and nerves are also removed.

Which kind of patients require this procedure?

Those patients suffering from any of the following conditions for a considerably prolonged period of time without any substantial relief from medications, rest or physical therapy may be advised for this procedure.

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylosis (also known as spinal osteoarthritis)

Post Operative Recovery and Rehabilitation

Patients may sometimes require one or two stitches and after a few hours of monitoring, are allowed to leave (accompanied by a companion) on the same day of surgery. The Physical therapist gives guidelines on the various techniques of walking, sitting and lifting to avoid any strain on the back for the first few weeks. The therapist also explains a set of exercises for the back to increase strength and endurance which are to be performed gradually as the incision pain subsides.  

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