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Laminectomy Specialist

Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group

Spine Surgeons & Neurosurgeons located in Fresno, CA

Pinched spinal nerves don’t just cause severe back and neck pain, they also lead to tingling, pain, and muscle weakness in your arms and legs. If you have pinched nerves, a laminectomy performed by the experienced spine surgeons at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group may be the treatment you need to find relief and get back to an active life. To learn if you’re a good candidate for a laminectomy, call the office in Fresno, California, or schedule an appointment online.

Laminectomy Q & A

What is a laminectomy?

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure to decompress spinal nerves that are pinched by a spine condition. In this procedure, decompression is achieved by removing the back part of the vertebra, which is the lamina.

Removing the lamina creates extra space for the nerves. This relieves pressure on the nerves, which in turn alleviates your pain.

When might I need a laminectomy?

The team at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group may recommend a laminectomy for several neck and back problems that pinch or push against the spinal nerves. However, spinal stenosis is the condition most often treated with a laminectomy.

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows. The canal is created by an opening in the center of each vertebra. This space becomes constricted due to conditions such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Spinal tumors

As these conditions protrude into the spinal canal, they compress the nerves, causing inflammation and pain. You may also experience pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness in your hand, arm, leg, or foot, depending on whether the pinched nerves are in your neck or lower back.

What happens during a laminectomy?

Whenever possible, the team at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group performs a laminectomy using minimally invasive surgery. Your surgeon makes a small incision and uses a tubular retractor to gently push the muscles out of the way instead of cutting them.

Using specialized instruments inserted through the retractor opening, your surgeon removes the lamina, as well as thickened ligaments and part of the facet joint if necessary. They also repair any underlying problems. For example, they may do a discectomy to eliminate the damaged portion of a disc or remove bone spurs.

If you have spinal instability, your surgeon performs a spinal fusion or an artificial disc replacement. Both options restore stability, but an artificial disc also preserves normal spinal movement.

What are the benefits of a minimally invasive laminectomy?

Minimally invasive procedures cause significantly less trauma compared with traditional open surgery. As a result, you:

  • Have less pain
  • Have less bleeding
  • Have a lower risk of infection
  • Have minimal scarring
  • Have a quicker recovery
  • Return to your usual activities faster

Another great benefit of minimally invasive surgery is that it’s typically performed as outpatient spine surgery, and you return home the same day. 

If you have ongoing back or neck pain, call Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group or book an appointment online to learn if a laminectomy may be the solution you need.