Surgical Treatment of Back Pain: Laminectomy

Laminectomy - New Jersey

Feb 19, 2016 @ 10:00 AM — by Aron D Rovner, MD 
Tagged with: Spine Surgery 

At New York Spine and Sports Surgery, Dr. Aron D. Rovner takes a conservative approach to back pain treatment, exploring non-surgical options before recommending more invasive methods. However, when surgery is recommended, he employs minimally invasive techniques to reduce the risk of complications, reduce post-surgical healing times, and help to ensure the safest, most precise procedures possible. Among the most effective surgical procedures used to treat back pain is laminectomy.

Laminectomy is often used at Dr. Rovner’s New Jersey orthopedic practice to treat radiculopathy, sciatica, and stenosis. Again, he would generally recommend non-surgical treatment methods such as medication, TENS therapy, and physical therapy before suggesting surgery; however, when those methods prove ineffective, or in cases in which symptoms worsen, laminectomy may be the most effective course of treatment.

What Is Laminectomy?

Laminectomy is a surgical procedure in which the back portions of the vertebrae - the laminae - are removed in order to create more room for the spinal nerves in the spinal canal. Any bone spurs that are discovered are also removed. The purpose of the procedure is to relieve back pain by reducing pressure on the spinal nerves and compression on the spinal cord.

The procedure is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. Dr. Rovner makes an incision in the back, through which he accesses the spinal cord. He then removes part or all of the lamina bones and any bone spurs and fragments of disc. If necessary, he also widens the foramen where the nerve roots travel out of the spine. Again, if necessary, he may fuse the spine to ensure the stability of the spinal column after surgery.

All in all, the procedure requires between one and three hours.

Why Is Laminectomy Performed?

As mentioned above, laminectomy is performed only when more conservative treatment options have proven ineffective. It is often recommended in the treatment of:

  • Radiculopathy: Radiculopathy is a condition caused by a compressed nerve in the spine. Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the spine, most commonly in the lower back and neck.
  • Sciatica: Sciatica is a condition marked by pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back through the hips and down each leg. It commonly occurs due to compression of the sciatic nerve due to narrowing of the spine or the presence of a bone spur, both of which can be treated through laminectomy.
  • Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the open spaces within the spine. This narrowing may place pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and interference with bladder and bowel function.

Learn More about Laminectomy

If you are experiencing back pain, we encourage you to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Aron D. Rovner by contacting New York Spine and Sports Surgery today. Dr. Rovner will examine your back, discuss your medical history, and explain both your non-surgical and surgical treatment options with you.