The lamina is the arched part of the vertebra, which forms a protective dome over the spinal canal to protect the nerves that run through it. Laminectomy is a procedure that removes the lamina to create more space and relieve pressure or compression. Pressure, compression and pain in this area is often caused by the inner portion of the disc (nucleus pulposus) extruding through the outer hard layer of the disc (annulus), often pushing up against nerve roots or structures that cause pain and immobility. Pain and immobility can also be caused by bony overgrowths, or spurs, within the spinal canal, as a result of arthritis of the spine. This procedure’s primary function is to create more space in the spinal canal in order to relieve the pressure that is causing pain and irritation.
Lumbar Laminectomy Approach
This Minimally Invasive procedure is performed posteriorly (from the back), as that is where the lamina is most easily seen and reached. First, the surgeon will make an incision over the affected vertebra and move the muscles to the side.
Specialized instruments are then used to remove the lamina to create the extra room in the spinal canal for the nerve roots. If a herniated disc is present, the surgeon may remove that portion of the disc, along with any bony materials that could be contributing the compression or pain.