Decompression surgery, referred to as a laminectomy, is a type of back surgery where space is created within the spinal area to relieve pressure causing back pain. During a laminectomy, the back part of the vertebra covering the spinal canal (the lamina) is removed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and related nerves.
If a Beverly Hills spinal surgeon has recommended that your spine pain be treated with a laminectomy, here are five fast facts about the procedure that you should be aware of:
1. There’s a Minimally Invasive Variation
For patients without any related complications (i.e., also having a herniated disc), a spinal surgeon may opt for a minimally invasive variation of a laminectomy where a hole is made in the lamina through a small incision without removing the entire lamina. Click here to learn more about the minimally invasive spine procedures.
2. It’s Usually an Elective Procedure
Laminectomies are rarely performed for emergency reasons. Instead, the procedure is usually considered an elective procedure that is performed when back pain doesn’t respond to non-surgical treatments such as medications.
3. There are Things Patients Can Do to Speed Up Recovery
Patients are usually in the hospital from one to three days following a laminectomy. After being discharged from the hospital, typically after a few days, patients can help speed up the recovery process by taking the following steps:
- Going for short walks
- Shifting sitting and standing positions
- Taking brief naps (on the stomach, not the side)
4. Additional Procedures May Be Performed in Conjunction with the Laminectomy
In some cases, additional procedures may be performed along with the laminectomy if the disc is herniated or bone spurs are discovered. A fusion may also be necessary to stabilize the spine.
5. Success Rates Are Generally High
Compared to other types of back surgery, the success rate for laminectomies is fairly high. While different sources reference percentages ranging from 26% to 99%, the average success rate for laminectomies is a respectable 65 percent.
To learn more about laminectomies in Los Angeles, or for a second opinion, reach out to the Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Bae and his team of board-certified surgeons can help you identify if a laminectomy is the right procedure for you.