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. 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.