Laminectomy Surgery

Lamina is part of the bone that makes up a vertebra in the spine. Laminectomy is surgery to remove the lamina. Laminectomy is also performed to remove bone spurs in the spine. The procedure helps to reduce the pressure off the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Laminar spurs exerts pressure on the spinal nerves leading to painful legs, weakness or heaviness in buttocks and legs etc. leading to difficulty in mobility and movements in the patients. Patients also experience problems in emptying or controlling bladder and bowel. Symptoms worsen while standing or walking leading to poor quality of life and disability in patients. Post laminectomy, patients are hospitalised for one to three days, and the individual patient's return to normal activity is largely dependent on his/her pre-operative condition and age. Patients are encouraged to walk directly following a laminectomy for lumbar stenosis.

Steps taken:

In laminectomy lamina (part of the bone that forms the vertebral arch in the spine) is removed which is putting pressure on the spinal cord leading to back pain, numbness in legs, difficulty in walking etc. This is the result of spinal stenosis and the surgical inventions are towards removing the stenosis of the spine to relieve the pain. A laminectomy is performed under anesthesia. Patient is administered either a general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia. An anesthesiologist continuously monitors the patient you throughout the surgery. The surgical approach is based on requirements for patient based on the severity of the disease. The incision is either through back or neck. The part of lamina bone is reached with the help of radio-imaging techniques with minimal incision. . The removal is either in parts or the entire lamina bone is removed depending upon the need of the surgery for the patients. The incisions are sutured and closed with sterile bandages for preventing infection and healing.

Advantages:

The success rate of a lumbar laminectomy to alleviate pain from spinal stenosis is generally favourable. Following a laminectomy, approximately 70% to 80% of patients will have significant improvement in their function (ability to perform normal daily activities)

Precautions:

Like any other surgery, the patient must be stable in all other physiological parameters. The concomitant diseases such a diabetes mellitus, hypertension must be under control. The patient must informed in advance for any allergies, past medical history, details of consumption of prescription and non-prescription medicines to the doctor in advance. Alcohol and nicotine are not good for health and for bone health they are like poison. Their consumption must be stopped before and after surgery including the recovery phase.Post-surgery, all the necessary advice in terms of medicine, diet, physical exercise must be followed. Pain, bleeding, swelling are expected after the surgery. Appropriate medications shall be provide for relief

FAQs

When is lumbar laminectomy recommended?

The main reason for this operation is the intolerable pain. For severe pain and disability surgery is the treatment option. However, advanced age is one of the deterrents for this procedure.

Are laminectomy surgeries successful?

Laminectomy surgeries have good outcomes with most patients getting pain relief of their leg pain and are able to perform daily activities.

How long will patient be in the hospital?

Laminectomy patients can usually be out of bed several hours after the operation. The majority of patients go home 48 to 72hours after surgery. In few instances patients can be discharged after 24 hours.

What medicines I shall receive after the procedure?

Pain-relieving medicines are the mainstay of the post-operative therapy apart from the anti-infective and dressings to prevent any infection.

Does spinal anaesthesia cause harm to the spinal cord?

No; spinal anaesthesia is injected with a specialised needle which causes least of the piercing which heals quickly and is almost painless. the dose of anaesthetic agent required is also smaller compared to the general anaesthesia and patient recovers faster from the sleep induced by this procedure

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