Bony overgrowths within the spinal canal can narrow the space available in your spinal cord and 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.
July 19, 2014
- Back pain. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Back_Pain/default.asp. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- McKean SC, et al. Principles and Practice of Hospital Medicine. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=749. Accessed April 22, 2014.
- McMahon SB, et al., eds. Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 22, 2014.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis. North American Spine Society. http://www.knowyourback.org/Pages/SpinalConditions/DegenerativeConditions/LumbarSpinalStenosis.aspx. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00329. Accessed April 23, 2014.