A laminectomy, also known as spine surgery, decompressive laminectomy, or spinal decompression, is a procedure that may help relieve severe back pain. Your spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves that runs through your spinal canal in the center of your vertebrae. During a laminectomy, a surgeon removes the lamina or boney area of the spine to widen the space in your spinal canal and ease the pressure on spinal nerves.
Call Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals at (702) 616-4900 or use our Find a Doctor tool to locate a spinal surgeon who specializes in laminectomy in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
Reasons for Laminectomy or Spinal Decompression
A laminectomy may be an option if nonsurgical treatments such as medication or physical therapy haven’t helped your back pain. Your doctor may recommend a laminectomy if you have persistent numbness, weakness, back pain, or leg pain due to:
- Degenerative disc disease: a breakdown of the cushioning discs between vertebrae
- Herniated disc: displacement of the cushioning discs between the vertebrae
- Sciatica: pain that runs down the leg and buttock due to compression of a nerve in the lower back
- Bone spurs: abnormal bone growths on a vertebra
- Spondylosis: also called spinal osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear on the discs in your spine
- Spinal stenosis: a narrowing of the spinal column
If you decide to have surgery, ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for a minimally invasive option. You may have less pain and faster recovery compared to open surgery. We offer in-depth education before your surgery to help you make your decision and to understand what will happen during the procedure and recovery.
What to Expect from Laminectomy at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
A laminectomy can be either an open procedure with a larger incision or a minimally invasive procedure with a few small incisions. Depending on the type of surgery, you may go home the same day or you may spend a few nights in the hospital.
Your doctor will encourage you to walk soon after surgery. Physical therapy will be an important part of your recovery. You will learn how to stand, sit, walk, and move in ways that protect your back. Full recovery may take four to six weeks or more.
Possible risks of laminectomy include:
- Injury to nearby organs, tissues, and blood vessels
- Damage to the nerves leaving your spine
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Blood clots
Life After Laminectomy Recovery
Most people return to the activities they couldn’t do before surgery. Keep in mind you’ll need to take precautions to prevent future back problems, including:
- Practicing good posture
- Exercising to strengthen your leg and back muscles
- Using proper body mechanics when carrying or lifting heavy objects
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides personalized treatment for back pain and laminectomy in the Greater Las Vegas and Henderson area.