This procedure is performed through an incision on the lower back. The surgeon removes a section of bone, called the lamina, from one or more vertebrae. This relieves pressure on the nerve roots caused by spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal). Rural Spine provides services to the greater Rock Springs area in Wyoming, Holdrege, and Sidney in Nebraska.

How is the procedure performed?

First, the surgeon removes the spinous process (the portion of the vertebra that protrudes furthest from the back of the spine). These are the bones that you feel when you touch the middle portion of your lower back. The surgeon removes the lamina (the portion of the vertebra that covers the nerve roots). Removing the damaged lamina opens up the spinal canal, taking pressure off the nerves.

There may still be some pinching from pressure within the area where the nerve root exits the spine, called the nerve foramen. The surgeon clears away any bone fragments that are pressing on the nerve roots. The spinal canal is now clear of any bone fragments, which relieves pressure from the nerve roots. The surgeon checks the nerve roots to make sure they are no longer being pinched.

How long will it take to recover?

Usually, it is required that you stay in the hospital at least one night after a laminectomy. Depending on the extent of your spinal stenosis treatment surgery in Rock Springs, you may be able to get out of bed and begin walking around that night but may still need assistance for a few days.

Your overall recovery will depend on the extent of your surgery and your specific medical condition. Generally, a person can expect to return to light activity (desk work) within a few days to a few weeks. You may not be able to return to full activities including lifting or bending for two to three months.

What are the risks associated with a laminectomy?

As with most surgeries there is a risk of infection, bleeding, and allergic reactions to anesthesia. Other risks may occur depending on your specific medical condition.

Specific risks of a laminectomy in Rock Springs are:

  • Blood clots in legs or lungs
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Nerve or blood vessel injury

When should I call my doctor?

You should call us if you experience:

  • A temperature of 101.1° or above.
  • Increasing redness and swelling at the incision site.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Changes in the amount, appearance, or odor of drainage from your incision.
  • New or increased changes in sensation/presence of numbness in extremities.
  • Severe pain that is not relieved by medication and rest.
  • Problems with your walking or balance
  • Questions or problems not covered by these instructions