Pain relievers, exercise, massages, meditation… you’ve tried it all. Yet that pain in your back and legs persists. Now, you’re starting to wonder: Is Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery the answer? The decision to have spine surgery can be difficult and the myths floating around about surgery don’t make the decision any easier. Before you jump to a conclusion, learn the truth behind these myths about spine surgery, and be sure to discuss any questions and concerns with your physician.
In this blog, we will walk you through the whole experience of a patient who undertakes Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery. After reading this blog till the end, you will be in a better position to decide if Laminectomy Surgery is for you. Let’s dive in!
It is a surgical procedure performed to treat the symptoms of central spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal that includes back pain, numbness, tingling, cramping, or weakness of the legs, and loss of sensation in the feet. Lumbar laminectomy is typically considered after non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, medications, or epidural steroid injections.
Laminectomy also known as decompression surgery is a procedure that creates space by removing the lamina (the back part of vertebrae that covers your spinal canal) to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
Why is it done?
During the procedure
The surgical team will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels throughout the procedure. After you are unconscious, the surgeon will make an incision in your back over the affected vertebrae, moving the muscles away from the spine as needed. In this surgery, small instruments are used to remove the appropriate lamina as minimally invasive surgeries typically use smaller incisions than those used for open surgeries.
If during the procedure one of your vertebrae slipped over one another or if you have curvature of the spine, spinal fusion may be necessary to stabilize your spine, which includes the fusion of two or more vertebrae together using bone grafts.
Avoid swimming , bathing and hot tubs until the wound is completely healed.
These can be used to prevent formation of blood clots and improve blood circulation.
Risks of surgery
Laminectomy is generally a safe procedure, but as with any surgery complications, one can experience the following;
Post Laminectomy syndrome
People suffering from Post Laminectomy syndrome complain about experiencing persistent back pain along with numbness and stiffness near the incision area.
As a result of the pain, patients have difficulty performing their routine activities and may experience difficulty in sleeping as well. The longer the pain lasts, the more of an impact it can have on the patient’s life resulting in depression and anxiety.
Treatment options may vary. Below are some of the options your doctor may recommend.
Complete recovery can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to a few months depending upon the patient’s age, general health, and the number of segments treated. To better understand how post-surgical life looks like you can read one of our other articles on what to expect after a Laminectomy.
If you are still confused about deciding whether Laminectomy surgery is for you or not, you must discuss your case with a neurosurgeon. Here at Southern California Brain and Spine Surgery, Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe provides healthcare services to patients suffering from brain and spinal problems. She is a board-certified neurosurgeon and will listen to your concerns and make an appropriate treatment plan according to your medical condition. For more information, you can explore our website or give us a call at (213) 369-4583.