Laminectomy or Microlaminectomy

The lamina is a bony component of your spine abutting your spinal canal. A laminectomy (the total amount elimination of the lamina) or a laminotomy (eliminating part of the lamina) may be required to relieve nerve or spinal cord squeezing caused by your lamina.

Traditional open laminectomies and laminotomies have been around longer than their minimally invasive counterparts, the microlaminectomy and microlaminotomy, practiced by the Advanced Spine Institute of Greater Boston. The conventional open methods require much larger incisions and the disruption of muscular tissues. See the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery here.

Who Needs a Laminectomy?

A laminectomy may be indicated to relieve pressure on a nerve or to get better access to other parts of your vertebrae: Parts of your lamina could need to be eliminated to make sure that your doctor can reach your disc, for example, in order to do a microdiscectomy.

About the Laminectomy Procedure

A microlaminectomy or microlaminotomy usually takes less than 1 1/2 hrs as an outpatient procedure (or short hospital stay) with the patient under general anesthesia. The surgeon typically uses one of these procedures:

Mini-open: This approach resembles an open laminectomy and laminotomy, however with this strategy, your specialist utilizes unique surgical devices and tools to see your spinal column through much smaller incisions.

Tubular: With this approach, your surgeon inserts a tube via a tiny incision and carefully pushes it through your back muscles up until it gets to your vertebrae. Additional tubes are used to gradually open up a path for the surgeon to reach the surgery site with specialized instruments.

Endoscopic: With this approach, a tiny camcorder, which is called an endoscope, is inserted with a tube, which allows your surgeon to see your vertebrae and operate on it with miniaturized instruments.

After Microlaminectomy

Many patients have been relieved or cured of their symptoms after a laminectomy, but in some cases, back and/or leg pain might return. Because microlaminectomies are surgically less traumatic than traditional open laminectomies, most patients return swiftly to their normal lives. Your care providers at the Advanced Spine Institute of Greater Boston will certainly guide you as to when you can return to exercising and other normal activities.