Laminectomy (whether unilateral or bilateral) refers to the surgical removal of the lamina of a vertebral body. By removing the lamina, we are able to decompress the spinal canal, and thus reduce the pressure on the spinal cord.
Spinal stenosis may be caused by:
- arthritis of the spine (in older patients)
- intervertebral disc degeneration
- congenital defects (e.g. abnormal growth of the spine, achondroplasia)
- Paget disease of the bone
- trauma to the spine
- space-occupying lesion within or surrounding the spine
The most commonly affected region is the lumbar spine.
A lumbar laminectomy is performed for patients with symptomatic, painful spinal stenosis, often occurring at multiple (> 3 vertebrae) levels of the spine.
The surgical procedure includes: