What you need to know about:

Laminectomy

Fast Fact

97%
Worth It Rating
Average Cost:
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Recovery Period:
Several weeks
Permanence:
Usually permanent
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Doctors
Time it takes:
2-3 hours
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Anesthetize:
General Anesthesia

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Overview of

Laminectomy

in Thailand

Laminectomy is a procedure to remove the lamina, which is a part of the spinal canal’s bony structure. The spine surgery is performed to relieve pressure on one or more spinal nerve roots. This pressure, often called nerve root compression or “pinched nerve “ may be the cause of back pain and leg pain.

Goals of

Laminectomy

One of the most common reasons for laminectomy is intervertebral disc herniation. If the herniated disc is in the lumbar region, this can cause sharp and continuing back pain, a weakening of the muscles in the leg, and some loss of sensation in the leg and foot. It may also be difficult to raise the leg when it is held in a straight position. A herniated disc in the neck region can cause symptoms including pain, numbness and weakness in the arm. A herniated disc may be triggered by twisting the back while lifting something heavy. During the spine surgery, the surgeon will attempt to relieve the pressure on nerves and nerve roots by removing the pulpy material that is protruding from the disc.

Price of

Laminectomy

Average Cost

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Price Range

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Pros and cons of

Laminectomy

Pros

-You can move around better.  -You're more physically fit. - Your mood improves.  -You don't need to take as much pain medicine.  -You can go back to work.

Cons

-Anaesthesia risks and a small chance of complications

How it works:

Laminectomy

Laminectomy is performed with the patient lying faced down after general anesthesia. A portion of one or more vertebra is removed in order to reach the compressed nerve root(s). Once the point of nerve root compression is located; the source of the pressure is removed. This may involve: Removing the ruptured portion of the disc Removing the bony spurs and bony overgrowth Removing the scar tissue. The spine surgery takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hours. Sometimes, a plastic drain is left in the wound for a few days after the operation to drain any blood that may have collected under the wound.

Preparation before

Laminectomy

Pre - treatment

Before your laminectomy, you should receive detailed instructions on how to prepare from your surgeon's staff during one of your office visits. Here's what you should do and plan for before the surgery: Don't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your laminectomy. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Don't wear jewelry, especially necklaces or bracelets. Bring your insurance information and your pocketbook for any co-payments or required paperwork. If your doctor thinks you might be able to go home the same day, bring someone to drive you home and help take care of you. Plan for being slow for a while. Stock up on groceries and take care of all the errands and housekeeping you can. Let friends and family know you'll be having surgery; you'll be able to use extra help during your recovery.

Recovery after

Laminectomy

Post - treatment

Post-operatively, patients are in the hospital for 4-5 days. The patient's ability to return to normal activity is largely dependent on his/her pre-operative condition and age. Patients are encouraged to resume walking; however, it is recommended to avoid excessive bending, lifting or twisting for six weeks in order to avoid pulling on the suture line before it heals. Your recovery time will depend on the extent of your surgery and your own personal situation. In general, here's what to expect: After a minor (decompressive) laminectomy, you are usually able to return to light activity (desk work and light housekeeping) within a few days to a few weeks. If you also had spinal fusion with your laminectomy, your recovery time will likely be longer -- from two to four months. Your doctor may not advise a return to full activities involving lifting and bending for two to three months. You should start light walking for exercise and physical therapy exercises as soon as your doctor says you're ready. This will help speed your recovery.

Risks & side effects

Complications are infrequent and usually minor. However, as with any spine surgery, there are risks, including the possibility of: Nerve root damage or bowel/bladder incontinence. Paralysis would be extremely unusual since the spinal cord stops at about the T12 or L1 level, and surgery is usually done well below this level. The cerebrospinal fluid leak may be encountered if the dural sac is breached. This does not change the outcome of the surgery, and generally a patient just needs to lie down for about 24 to 48 hours to allow the leak to seal. Infections could happen; however, it generally can be managed and cured effectively. Re-herniation of the same disk Risks from any surgery can be reduced by following the surgeon's instructions before and after the back surgery.

FAQs:

Laminectomy

What causes nerve root compression?

Ruptured disc - Also called a protruded, slipped or herniated disc Spondylosis - Deterioration or “wear and tear” of multiple discs with bony spur formation and degenerative disc Scar tissue Combination of the above factors

Who is suitable for a laminectomy?

The candidates for laminectomy are those who suffer from chronic pain and do not respond to medication and physical therapy. The surgeon will make the final determination of each patient’s eligibility for the procedure after examinations and consultations with the patient.

Will the laminectomy remove all my pain?

Laminectomy in the lower back is very helpful in patients who have radicular pain going down their legs. In most of the patients, the symptoms are well resolved, and these patients are able to get back to their normal life within six to ten weeks after the surgery.

What are my restrictions following a laminetomy?

Patients have restrictions after laminectomy surgery to ensure that the surgical site heals and to prevent injury. Usually, lifting is limited to no more than 5 kg for the first two weeks. Forward-bending and twisting should also be avoided in the immediate post-operative period other than what is needed for basic activities such as getting in and out of bed/chairs or a car and taking a shower for example. Patients are encouraged to walk around as tolerated for exercise however.  Restrictions are gradually lifted over the course of subsequent follow-up visits. In many cases patients can return to all of their normal activities by 3 months, but some patients with multilevel decompression surgeries, heavy labor jobs or other unique situations may necessitate some sort of permanent restrictions.

How much pain will I be in after the surgery?

Everyone has a different pain tolerance. Some patients end up taking little to no pain medications other than over-the-counter Tylenol or NSAIDs and some patients take them for a couple weeks after surgery. You will receive a prescription for pain medications after surgery that is to be taken on an AS NEEDED basis and we encourage you to wean yourself off of them as your pain allows.

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