Laminectomy is most commonly performed to relieve the pressure spinal stenosis places on your spinal cord or nerves. This pressure can cause pain, weakness or numbness that can radiate down your arms or legs. Laminectomy is usually better at relieving these types of radiating symptoms than it is at relieving actual back pain.

Your doctor may recommend laminectomy if:

  • Conservative treatment, such as medication or physical therapy, fails to improve your symptoms
  • You have muscle weakness or numbness that makes standing or walking difficult
  • You experience loss of bowel or bladder control

In some cases, laminectomy may be necessary as part of surgery to treat a herniated spinal disk. Your surgeon may need to remove part of the lamina to gain access to the damaged disk.

Jul. 07, 2011