Lumbar Decompression/Laminectomy

Lumbar Decompression/Laminectomy

Lumbar laminectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove bony pressure on the spinal canal and spinal nerves to relieve buttock, hip and leg pain. Occasionally disc material needs to be removed.

Advantages of Lumbar Laminectomy

  • Small Incision – Often one inch or less
  • Minimal Blood Loss
  • Quick Recovery – Back to work in days and sports in 6 weeks

If You Have Decided to Have Surgery:

  • Call our doctor,s staff to schedule your surgery date and the date for your pre-operative consultation.
  • At your pre-operative consultation doctor will discuss the procedure with you, answer any questions you may have, and have you sign a consent form for surgery.
  • You will be given prescriptions for pain medicine and instructions for post-operative care.
  • Your pre-operative evaluation will be scheduled on the same day as your pre-operative consultation. You may have a chest X-ray, EKG, and blood-work performed.
  • If you take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications daily, STOP these medications at least 5 days before your surgery.
  • If you are a smoker you should make every effort to stop smoking as soon as you can before surgery (at least 2 weeks prior to surgery). You should not smoke for at least 6 weeks after surgery.
  • You will check into the hospital or the surgery center the morning of surgery.

Surgical Procedure:

  • Your anesthesiologist will bring you to the operating room and put you to sleep for the operation.
  • There are usually two nurses in the room and a surgical assistant that assists Endospine360 doctor with the operation.
  • An incision is made in middle of your lower back. The length depends on the number of levels to be decompressed.
  • After carefully moving the muscle tissue, a retractor is placed to expose the back of the spine.
  • Bone and ligament that are causing pressure on the spinal canal are removed.
Lumbar Laminectomy
Lumbar Laminectomy
  • If a discectomy is performed, the pinched nerve is gently moved to the side and the bulging or herniated disc material is removed from underneath the nerve.
Lumbar Laminectomy
  • The incision is closed with resorbable stitches that are placed beneath the skin.
  • The surgery will take approximately 1 hour, or more depending on the number of levels.

After Surgery:

  • You will be taken to the recovery room  and stay there for about 1hour. 
  • Doctor will speak to your family while you are in the recovery room.
  • The nurses will get you out of bed shortly after surgery and a physical therapist may work with you to ensure that you are strong enough to go home.
  • You will be able to walk next day morning of surgery and usually discharged on post op day 2 of surgery.

After Going Home:

  • A small dressing is placed over the incision in the operating room. You will remove this dressing 14 days after surgery. 
  • You will be given pain medication and a muscle relaxant to help control post-operative pain and spasms. Make sure you do not drive or operate heavy machinery while on the medication.
  • There will be some activity restrictions that you will need to follow.  For the first six weeks, no significant bending or twisting at the waist, and no lifting more than 20 lbs.
  • You may drive once you are off of your medications (generally at about 10-15 days).
  • You can expect to return to sedentary office or desk work approximately 10-15 days after surgery as long as you can maintain the activity restrictions.
  • If you perform manual labor that requires heavy lifting or frequent bending or climbing, you should wait 6 weeks before returning to this activity. 
  • Sports activities such as adminton, Cricket or tennis may be resumed at 12 weeks.

Emergency Medical Assistance