Laminectomies, for the purpose of relieving pressure on spinal nerves, have a good short-term success rate, explaining why the procedure is considered one of the most common spinal surgeries performed. Results tend to be mixed, however, when looking at long-term success rates.
Individual success rates for laminectomies depends on why your doctor is recommending the procedure, which involves the replacement of a vertebral bone called the lamina to make more room for spinal nerves, in the first place. There are two basic ways to perform a laminectomy:
If spinal stenosis, the most common reason for a laminectomy, originates from problems in the nerves, then there is usually no need for a fusion, decreasing risk factors and increasing the odds of long-term success.
When the spinal column itself is unstable, a spine fusion is required, often meaning a longer recovery period and reduced odds of long-term symptom relief.
Patients generally recover normal function (meaning a previous level of functioning) in about a year following a laminectomy. The odds of a successful outcome can be increased by:
A study focusing on outcomes associated with laminectomies suggests that long-term outcomes vary significantly. Researchers reported that nearly 25 percent of patients who had the surgery required another operation 7-10 years after their first surgery while 33 percent reported severe back pain.
Fortunately, for those in need of surgery, there are many novel non-fusion surgery options available that can help to provide long-term comfort and reduce the need for a second surgery. For more information about these options, reach out to Dr. Bae of The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at www.laspine.com or call 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person consultation.