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What is a laminectomy?

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A laminectomy is a back surgery that involves removing the lamina, or the back part of the vertebra that conceals the spinal canal, states Mayo Clinic. Also referred to as decompression surgery, a laminectomy creates space and enlarges the spinal canal to ease pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.

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This pressure is usually brought about by bony overgrowths that narrow the space in the spinal canal causing pain in the arms or legs, explains Mayo Clinic. A laminectomy is done as a last resort after conventional treatments such as injections, medication or physical therapy fail to work, or in cases of acute or deteriorating symptoms.

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