A lumbar laminectomy is also known as an open decompression and typically performed to alleviate pain caused by neural impingement that can result from lumbar spinal stenosis.
A condition that primarily afflicts elderly patients, spinal stenosis is caused by degenerative changes that result in enlargement of the facet joints. The enlarged joints then place pressure on the nerves, and this pressure may be effectively relieved with the laminectomy.
The lumbar laminectomy is designed to remove a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material from under the nerve root to give the nerve root more space and a better healing environment
The lumbar laminectomy (open decompression) differs from a microdiscectomy in that the incision is longer and there is more muscle stripping.
Post laminectomy, patients are in the hospital for one to three days, and the individual patient’s mobilization (return to normal activity) is largely dependent on his/her pre-operative condition and age.
Patients are encouraged to walk directly following a laminectomy for lumbar stenosis. However, it is recommended that patients avoid excessive bending, lifting, or twisting for six weeks after this stenosis surgery in order to avoid pulling on the suture line before it heals.