Laminotomy is a surgery in which the aim is to remove part or most of a spinal bone called the lamina. The lamina is the back part of each vertebra (spinal bone) and covers the spinal canal, the area around the spinal cord. In a laminotomy, your doctor makes a hole in the lamina and removes a small piece of the bone.
The procedure allows your doctor to see irritated spinal nerves. The doctor can remove anything pressing on spinal nerves that are causing arm or leg pain, such as bone spurs, herniated discs, tumors, or overgrown ligaments. The procedures also may ease back or neck pain. They won’t eliminate pain caused by arthritis or wear and tear on spinal joints. It can be done anywhere on the spine. More than one vertebrae may be treated. The risk of complications is low. Patients typically spend one or two days in the hospital afterward.
Laminotomy is a procedure performed by spine surgeons to decompress the spinal canal in either the cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) spine. Laminotomy typically refers to a unilateral (left- or right-sided) approach to this type of spine surgery. This is one of the most common operations performed by spinal surgeons. Laminotomy surgery can help relieve pressure on the spinal cord caused by spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).
Lumbar laminotomy is typically used to treat: lumbar stenosis, neurogenic claudication, and radiculopathy.