A laminectomy is a type of orthopaedic surgery that involves removing the
lamina, which is the back of a vertebra. This surgery is also known as
a decompression surgery because it creates more space in the spinal canal,
which relieves pressure on the spinal nerves. Not every patient with back
pain is a good candidate for a laminectomy or other spinal surgery. An
orthopaedic surgeon will consider a number of factors before deciding whether to recommend
that a particular patient have this type of surgery.
When the Symptoms Are Severe
Patients might consider having a laminectomy when they experience
severe symptoms of spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, bone spur formation, or disc herniation. These
patients may suffer from severe, persistent back pain, reduced mobility,
and perhaps numbness and pain along a leg or an arm. Other severe symptoms
can include the loss of bowel or bladder control. When the symptoms are
severe enough to reduce quality of life or interfere with daily activities,
it might be time to consult an orthopaedic surgeon about having a laminectomy.
When Conservative Treatments Fail
Unless patients experience very severe symptoms such as incontinence, they
may be advised to try nonsurgical treatments first. An orthopaedic doctor
may prescribe medications, perform spinal injections, recommend activity
modification, and refer patients to a physical therapist. If these medical
treatments do not provide sufficient relief of pain, then patients might
consider having a laminectomy.
When the Patient Fully Understands the Risks
Before having any orthopaedic surgery, it’s important that the patient
is fully aware of the potential risks involved. Every surgery carries
some risk of complications, such as bleeding, infection, blood clots,
and adverse reactions to anesthesia. For many patients, the low risk of
surgical complications is outweighed by the benefit of treating the underlying
problem to resolve existing symptoms.
MK Orthopaedics provides comprehensive orthopaedic care in Joliet, including orthopaedic
surgeries such as laminectomies. If you’ve been experiencing back
pain, one of our orthopaedic surgeons can help you decide if a laminectomy
is right for you. Call us at (815) 741-6900 with any questions you may have.