Lumbar Laminectomy



Think of the spinal canal as a room. The floor is made out of the disc space, the walls are the facet joints, the ceiling is the yellow ligament, and the roof is the lamina bone. With age, our spinal canal naturally becomes smaller due to thickening of the yellow ligament, bulging discs, and enlargement of the facet joints. In other words, our spinal room gets smaller because the floor is coming up, and the ceiling lower. The best way to make the room bigger is to raise the roof, or remove the lamina bone. In medicine, removing something is called an –ectomy. So removal of the lamina bone is called laminectomy. If you live long enough, your spinal canal will become so narrow your nerve roots will be pinched. As a result, laminectomy is one of the most common operations in the United States. A surgeon will operate through a microscope down a tube. This technology enables a fast recovery, while preserving as much normal tissue as possible, leading to a spectacular long term result.