Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery
Over our lifetime, our spinal column works hard at a number of things. It allows our upper body to be very flexible by allowing us to twist from left to right and bend forwards and backwards. It is also responsible for protecting the spinal cord, part of the central nervous system that has the important task of relaying messages from the brain to our nervous system and back again, including feeling and muscle instruction which lets us bend and flex our muscles. Because of the amount of movement out spinal column endures throughout our lifetime, it’s no surprise that the vertebrae, discs and ligaments that make up the spinal column suffer from wear and degeneration over time. Spinal stenosis is usually the result of this degeneration and sometimes requires lumbar laminectomy surgery.
What is Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery?
Lumbar laminectomy surgery is performed on patients that are suffering from chronic and intense back pain. The lamina is the posterior arch of the vertebral bone lying between the spinous process, making up the wall of the spinal canal. A lamina is almost never removed because it is affected, but rather to give the soft tissue room to expand (for decompression) or to aid in changing the contour of the spinal column to allow the surgeon access onto the spinal canal. A lumbar laminectomy surgery is simply a surgical procedure to remove a portion of the lamina.
Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery Procedure
There are several different methods of lumbar laminectomy surgery, from minimally invasive to open surgery. On average, 450 out of 100,000 cases need surgery to correct which makes it a very small percentage. For the procedure, the patient will be placed in a kneeling position as this alleviates some pressure on the spine. The surgeon will then make a small straight incision over the affected vertebrae and down to the lamina.
The first step is to remove the ligament joining the vertebrae to the lamina to expose the nerve root, which is then pulled back towards the middle of the spinal column and then part of the lamina is removed. The surgery site is closed. Following the operation, you should expect some pain which is completely normal. Your surgeon will encourage you to begin walking a few hours after your surgery. You will be given a list of instructions to aid with comfortably managing your body after the operation and a follow up will be made with your doctor.
Costs of Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery
Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery is covered by the NHS in full so if you are one of the candidates for this surgery, you can rest easily knowing that you won’t have to cough up the large amount of money asked for a procedure like this. The huge variations in the surgical procedure make a cost estimate impossible and you should consult with your doctor or surgeon for an approximation of what this procedure will cost if you do have to pay for the lumbar laminectomy surgery yourself.