If you suffer from chronic back or leg pain due to pinched spinal nerves, it may be time to talk about pain-relieving options like a laminectomy. Cyril Sebastian, MD, at Evergreen Spine and Neurosurgery Center in Shenandoah, Texas, is a board-certified neurosurgeon with intensive fellowship training in spinal cord surgery. Dr. Sebastian specializes in minimally invasive laminectomies that relieve your pain and allow you to recover in a few days. To learn if you’re a good candidate, book an appointment online or call the office today.
A laminectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the back part of the vertebra, which is called the lamina. Dr. Sebastian performs a laminectomy to decompress the spinal cord, the tissues surrounding the spinal cord, and/or the nerve roots as they leave the spinal canal.
Removing the lamina widens the canal and creates more space for the nerves. As a result, the pressure is relieved, the nerves can heal, and you experience pain relief.
Any back or neck condition that pushes against the spinal nerves could need a lumbar or cervical laminectomy to decompress the nerves. However, the condition most often treated with a laminectomy is spinal stenosis.
When you have spinal stenosis, the opening that forms the spinal canal becomes constricted due to a variety of conditions, such as:
As these conditions reduce the space in the spinal canal, the nerves become compressed and inflamed.
When you develop spinal stenosis, you’ll experience back or neck pain, depending on the location of the problem. You may also have pain when you walk or stand.
Pinched nerves cause radiculopathy, or pain, tingling, and numbness that travel down your arm or leg. In severe cases, the affected limb may feel weak.
During a laminectomy, Dr. Sebastian accesses your spine through a small incision in your back, gently pushing the muscles aside rather than cutting them. Keeping your muscles intact means you can recover more quickly.
After removing the lamina, he repairs the underlying problem. For example, he may need to trim the facet joints or remove thickened ligaments, a herniated disc, or bone spurs.
If you have spinal instability or you need a laminectomy on more than one vertebra, Dr. Sebastian may also perform a spinal fusion to restore strength and stability. He places a bone graft between the affected vertebrae then secures the bones with plates and screws.
The bone graft consists of a piece of bone or a bone substitute. Both types of grafts promote bone growth, encouraging the two vertebrae to grow over the graft and fuse together into one bone.
If you have ongoing leg, back, neck, or arm pain, call Evergreen Spine and Neurosurgery Center or book an appointment online today.