Find Out How a Laminectomy Can Relieve Pressure Off Your Spinal Cord

Too much pressure on your spinal cord and nerve roots can lead to back pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms and legs. In some cases, pressure on your nerve roots can cause problems with walking and bowel functions, as well. Procedures intended to relieve pressure in the back are referred to as decompression. These procedures release your spine from the pressures of pinched nerves, which cause pain. In a laminectomy, we remove a small portion of bone located over the nerve root, called the lamina, to give your nerves the space they need.

At South Texas Spinal Clinic, we have the expertise you rely on when you're dealing with spinal problems and back pain. If you live in San Antonio or South Texas and are concerned about spinal pressure symptoms like back pain, we'll help you decide what course of treatment is best for you, and if surgery at one of our 12 convenient locations could be a way to give you some relief.

What is a laminectomy?

Your “lamina” is flattened segments of bone in your vertebral arch. Your vertebral arch forms a ring around your spinal cord, a location where problematic pressure can occur. In a laminectomy, we remove a portion of this bone, relieving the pressure on your spinal cord.

Why would I need a laminectomy?

There are three main issues that a laminectomy can help with:

In addition to a laminectomy, we may also need to perform a discectomy (removal of a disc), foraminotomy, or spinal fusion. These procedures can often be done simultaneously, minimizing your recovery time.

In general, we'll only recommend a laminectomy after we've explored more conservative treatments like medication and physical therapy to treat your back pain or spinal pressure symptoms.

What should I know about the procedure?

During the surgery, you'll be under a general anesthetic and won't feel any pain. The surgeon makes an incision in your back over the problem area. The size of the incision varies, depending on your unique physical circumstances. We may need to create a larger incision if we are performing additional procedures.

After the surgery, most people are able to go home within 1-3 days. You should be ready to go back to light work after about 4 weeks.

While spine problems can always reoccur, patients who have had laminectomies often experience full or partial relief from their symptoms. Most patients report some degree of improvement. Laminectomies successfully relieve pain that radiates down the leg or arm, but is less effective in the treatment of pain in the back.

With a team thoroughly trained in orthopedic medicine, spinal orthopedic medicine, physical medicine, and rehabilitation, we at South Texas Spinal Clinic can help you determine the best path to treat your back pain or spinal pressure symptoms. To get started, call or use the online scheduling tool.

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