In order to relieve pressure on the nerves of the lower back and spine, a physician may recommend a lumbar laminectomy, a procedure that removes a section of the lamina, or the rear portion of bone that lies over the spinal cord. The surgery is effective in patients suffering from pain in the lower back and legs caused by the squeezing of nerves in the specific area. Patients with spinal stenosis—a narrowing of the spinal canal that impacts the spinal cord and adjacent nerves—are particularly well-suited for a lumbar laminectomy, as are those with deteriorating disc, spinal tumors and abnormal bone growths (spurs).
In performing a lumbar laminectomy, a surgeon will make an incision down the center of the back and expose the vertebral bones. Removing the spinous process— a bony projection off the posterior (back) of each vertebra—the surgeon then also removes the portion of damaged lamina, increasing room in this section of the spinal canal and removing pressure from local nerves.
Post-surgery, a physician will recommend a custom-tailored treatment plan to aid in recovery. This plan will most likely include specific exercises to increase and maintain strength and flexibility in the back. A resuming of normal daily activities will depend on the rate of healing as well as the cessation of pre-surgical symptoms.