Lumber laminectomy, also known as open decompression or decompression surgery, is a surgical procedure done on the back, notes Spine-health. It involves the removal of a small portion of the spinal bones to create more space for the nerve root. This procedure helps to alleviate pain caused by compressed nerves.
The surgery is mostly done for patients suffering from spinal stenosis, a degenerative illness that mainly affects elderly patients and people with arthritis in their spines, states WebMD. This condition causes the facet joints to enlarge, exerting pressure on the nerves. The pressure can result in weakness, pain or numbness of limbs, according to Mayo Clinic. The lamina is first removed to expose the nerve roots and allow the facet joints which lie directly over them, to be trimmed, Spine-health states. This creates more space for the nerves and relieves the pressure.