Have Consistent Back Pain? It May Be Time to Visit Your Laminectomy Specialist

Back pain affects almost everyone at some point in life. However, most people recover fairly quickly with time, rest, and conservative treatments such as physical therapy.

But if your back pain is constant and doesn’t seem to be getting better, the surgical spine experts at South Texas Spinal Clinic want you to know that you have options, including surgeries that stop the pain at the source, such as a laminectomy.

Causes of consistent back pain

Your spine is made up of numerous bones called vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs that provide cushioning in between the bones. Your spinal cord runs through the center of your vertebrae and sends nerve branches through the openings in between your vertebrae.

Consistent back pain may result from a mechanical issue related to the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, or both, which may irritate your nerves or spinal column.

Herniated disc

A herniated disc is when the intervertebral disc in between the bones in your spine bulges out or ruptures, which can lead to chronic back pain.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of your spinal column, which puts pressure on your spinal nerves and leads to pain, tingling, or numbness. Spinal stenosis can also make walking more difficult.


Radiculopathy occurs when your herniated disc or spinal stenosis compresses the nerve root, causing inflammation, which then leads to pain, numbness, and tingling that may travel down to your legs and feet.

Bone spurs

Your spine endures a lot of weight over the course of your life, which may lead to degeneration of the bones and the development of bone spurs, also referred to as osteophytes, which are bony outgrowths that form on your vertebrae. These outgrowths may put pressure on your spinal column and cause back pain.

What is a laminectomy?

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at relieving pressure on your spinal cord nerves to stop the generation of pain. Also referred to as decompression surgery, the procedure removes a piece of your lamina — the back part of your vertebrae that covers your spinal cord — to give your spinal cord more room and to alleviate any unnecessary pressure on the nerve.

While the surgical experts at South Texas Spinal Clinic use minimally invasive procedures to perform surgeries, a laminectomy is still a major surgery that requires general anesthesia and a recovery period of about six weeks.

In addition to making more room for your spinal cord, if your back pain is due to a herniated disc, your surgeon can remove the affected disc during your laminectomy. If one of your vertebrae has slipped over another, your surgeon may fuse the bones together, referred to as a spinal fusion, to improve spinal curvature and health.

When to consider a laminectomy

Spine surgery isn’t usually the first line of treatment for back pain. Your spine surgeon at South Texas Spinal Clinic may only recommend a laminectomy after you’ve tried other more conservative methods to relieve your back pain — such as medication and physical therapy — and failed to get relief.

Your doctor also may recommend a laminectomy if you’re experiencing muscle weakness, you’re having difficulty standing in addition to your back pain, or you’ve lost control of your bowel or bladder.

Most people find significant relief from their back pain after a laminectomy.

To learn more about this procedure and how it may help you, call the laminectomy specialists at South Texas Spinal Clinic for a consultation. Or click the button at the top of this page to book an appointment online.

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