Laminectomy procedures are performed to treat pressure caused by bony overgrowths in the spinal canal, explains Mayo Clinic. The growths hinder the space in the spinal cord, which can lead to pain and muscle weakness. The surgery is usually recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative therapies.
Laminectomy surgery is also performed to remove damaged disks that cause excess pressure on the spinal nerve, explains MedlinePlus. During a laminectomy procedure, the surgeon creates an incision in the neck or the center of the back and the muscles and ligaments are pushed to the side. Once the spinal cord is accessed, the surgeon removes the lamina bones that travel along the spine, as well as any bone growths or disk fragments that are causing discomfort. Depending on the extent of the condition, the surgeon may also expand the nerve root opening in the spine or perform a spinal fusion procedure to ensure the spine remains stable.
Patients who undergo laminectomy procedures are typically required to remain in the hospital for at least one day following surgery, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Potential complications of the procedure include damage to the spinal cord or surrounding nerves, blood clots in the lungs, bleeding and infections.