What Is the Difference Between a Laminotomy and a Bilateral Laminotomy?


Quick Answer

The difference between a laminotomy and a bilateral laminotomy is that a laminotomy is performed on one side of the spinal column, while a bilateral laminotomy is performed on both sides, explains Mayfield Clinic. The procedures are performed to relieve the symptoms associated with spinal compression.

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Full Answer

A laminotomy or bilateral laminotomy are spinal decompression procedures performed by a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon to remove a small portion of the lamina and ligaments along the spinal column. The decompression is performed at any point along the spine from the neck to the lower back using a surgical incision in the back. Removal of the lamina and other soft tissue allows for more room for the nerves and for removal of bone spurs, thereby relieving pain, notes Mayfield Clinic.

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, a cause of chronic pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in the arms or legs. Although the condition mostly affects the elderly, anyone can be a candidate for the procedure if they experience significant pain, weakness, or numbness in the leg or foot, leg pain that is worse than in the back, pain that does not improve with physical therapy, or confirmation of stenosis as shown by tests such as an MRI, CT or myelogram, explains Mayfield Clinic.

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