What is Laminectomy or Spinal Decompression Surgery
A back pain or neck pain that is chronic and interferes into your normal day to day activity may need surgical attention. At times this chronic pain could be caused by compression of the spinal cord or the nerve roots. This compression is commonly caused by bone spurs which are bony outgrowths within the spinal canal. A surgery performed to relieve this compression by removing a part or all of the vertebral bone (lamina) is called laminectomy. Laminectomy is also referred to as Spinal decompression surgery. Laminectomy essentially enlarges your spinal canal and relieves the spinal cord from being compressed.
A laminectomy done for the neck area is called Cervical Laminectomy and the one done for lower back is called Lumbar Laminectomy. A laminectomy done to treat Spinal stenosis which is narrowing of the spinal canal is also called Decompression Laminectomy.
How is Laminectomy performed
In Laminectomy the spine surgeon makes an incision in your neck or lower back depending upon the location of the affected area. Then he moves aside the soft tissues and makes a tunnel to reach the affected vertebrae. The spine surgeon then removes the part of the vertebrae (lamina) or the whole vertebrae which is causing the compression of nerves. There are different techniques to perform this surgery.
Open or Traditional Technique: In this technique the surgeon uses a large incision and muscle retractors to make way to the affected area.
Micro – laminectomy: This is a minimally invasive technique called micro – laminectomy. In this technique the surgeon makes small incision and uses dilators to reach the affected area through the muscles. He then uses special instruments, microscopes and live Xrays to conduct the procedure.
Why to choose Laminectomy
Laminectomy is usually recommended in the cases where the spinal canal shrinks or compresses and causes back pain accompanied by leg pain or neck pain accompanied by arm pain by building pressure on the spinal cord or nerve root. Bone spurs within the spinal canal can result into narrowing the space available in the canal for the spinal cord and nerves. This pressure on the spinal cord and nerves can cause weakness, numbness and pain that radiate down your arms or legs. In some cases, it becomes difficult to stand or walk even for a short distance. Also, at times you may experience loss bowel and bladder control. The solution for such condition is to decompress the spinal canal and relieve the spinal cord and nerves from the pressure.
Some of the conditions which can be treated by Laminectomy are:
- Slipped (Herniated) Disc
- Spinal Injury
- Spinal Stenosis (Narrowing of Spinal Canal)
- Degenerative disc diseases – wear and tear of disc which results into narrowing of spinal canal or causes friction leading to back pain
- Congenital Defect (birth defect)
- Spinal Tumors
When should I consider opting for Laminectomy
At Spine and Sports Clinic we believe that surgery as an option should be the last resort for treating pain caused by spinal disorders. Not more than 10% of the cases citing pain due to back pain or neck pain or spine related pain needs spine surgery. So do not delay in consulting our spine specialist, Dr Bhavin Shial. If Non- surgical treatments like medicine, physiotherapy, posture correction & spinal injections don’t result into relief in a defined period of time then the spine specialist can list the other surgical options like Laminectomy. This procedure is usually selected when the cause of the problem is narrowing of the spinal canal causing compression on the spinal cord and nerves. The compressed spinal cord is relieved by Laminectomy procedure where the lamina causing the pain is removed.
FAQs for Laminectomy or Spinal Decompression Surgery
The cost of a Laminectomy depends upon the severity of the condition, patient’s health, the procedure to be adopted, the equipment, whether followed with Discectomy or Spinal Fusion, the implants, bone graft to be used, the hospital and ward category selected.
Dr Bhavin Shial performs Laminectomy or Spinal decompression surgery for patients at various budget and premium hospitals in Mumbai and he will guide you on the most economical option for you based on your need.
Laminectomy can be performed by Spine surgeons, Orthopaedic surgeons and Neuro surgeons. Dr Bhavin Shial is one of the best Spine specialists in Mumbai and is a certified Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon. He holds a degree in Master of Surgery in Orthopedics and has done his Spine Fellowship from P.D. Hinduja Hospital. He has also earned esteemed international fellowship in Microsurgery and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery training in Germany. In his experience spanning over 11 plus years, he has performed more than 3000 + spine surgeries and provides best spine treatment in Mumbai. He is qualified and has the experience of performing Laminectomy in open technique as well as Micro – Laminectomy which is the minimally invasive technique.
Laminectomy is successful in relieving back, leg and arm pain in 90% plus cases. Resuming all activities like before may take 6 to 9 months. If the laminectomy is accompanied with Discectomy or Spinal Fusion then it requires a long-term commitment from the patient’s side to follow the post-operative care in order to attain maximum benefit. The success of the surgery totally depends upon factors like Patient’s health and age, severity of the condition, post-operative care and follow-ups.
Laminectomy patients are generally discharged in 2 to 3 days, however if Spinal Fusion or Discectomy is also done then the hospital and the surgeon take additional care to keep the patient under observation in the hospital for a little longer. In most cases the patient is discharged in 4 to 6 days after the surgery.
The post-operative care and period varies for each case. Common post-operative care includes following doctor’s advice on wearing cervical collar, braces, medicines, physiotherapy, avoiding heavy weight lifting, rest, follow-up consultations and keeping a watch on fever and infection. The period of post-operative care ranges from few weeks to few months depending upon the procedure.
In most cases Laminectomy treatments are covered by your health insurance or Mediclaim company. The extent of coverage would totally depend upon the type of policy and sum insured opted by you. It is advisable to check with your Mediclaim company and get a better clarity.
Almost 90% of the Spine problems can be rectified with non-surgical treatments and do not need surgery.At Spine and Sports Clinic, we do not believe in suggesting unnecessary surgical procedures. Dr Bhavin Shial’s first route of treatment is non-surgical options. Some of the non-surgical alternatives for spine problems that he suggests depending on the health of the patient and severity of the condition are Rest, Posture correction, Physiotherapy, pain medicines and epidural injections. It is advisable to visit Spine and Sports Clinic and consult spine specialist in mumbai, Dr Bhavin Shial to discuss the non-surgical options suitable for your condition.