Laminectomy Surgery

Laminectomy Surgery, is it the end all be all of back surgeries? As all back pain sufferer know, it’s not something that you can ignore or should ignore for long. First off it is not something that will pass and does not just effect a small area of your body, if you have chronic back pain/problems, then your whole body is effected and pretty much makes your ability to do anything physical difficult to nearly impossible without a great deal of pain.
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Now there are some instances, where the your back pain, is simply muscles soreness and would require little more than rest. When the pain does not go away or is chronic in nature, it’s time to find out if this is a more serious condition that involves your spine and vertebral discs. You should consult a physician to seek guidance on your condition, and if surgery is suggested one type that you want to know about is Laminectomy Surgery.

So what is Laminectomy Surgery? Good question!

A laminectomy is a medical or surgical procedure wherein the doctor who administers it removes a portion of the bony arch, or lamina on the back of your vertebra (think dorsal fin on a shark). This surgical procedure is also know more commonly as an open decompression procedure. When the lamina is removed, this enlarges the spinal canal (where your spinal cord/nerve runs),which in turn relieves the spinal nerves of the tremendous pressure which causes the pain that keeps you from doing pretty much anything.

The surgery itself is fairly straight forward, the doctor will make a small incision (aka cut you) near the affected area, the incision itself can vary anywhere from two to five inches in length. Next portions of the surrounding muscle will be temporarily dissected to get to the vertebral column. Next the surgeon will cut into the lamina, and then have access to the facet joints that surround the spinal nerve. This is where the real work is done, once the facet joints and spinal column is reached, the surgeon then creates “more space” for your spinal nerve, which will relieve the pressure and ultimately help reduce or get rid of the pain. It has been documented that Laminectomy Surgery has a high rate of success, and can effectively rid your back of pain and suffering. As of this writing, approximately 80% of those patients surveyed stated that the procedure either reduced/relieved or even eliminated the pain and have had a tremendous positive effect on their lives.

Now a word of caution, as with any medical procedure, it’s important to know that there is always some risk involved. Common problems from this type of surgery are internal bleeding, possible pneumonia during recovery, as well as spinal nerve damage, or instability of the vertebrae which can make matters worse. Now the evidence of this type of negative results is relatively small compared to the successful results, but it is a very important consideration to take into account when deciding if Laminectomy Surgery is what you need.

Also take into consideration the costs which can be very high as this is a very specialized surgery and depending on where you live, and what type of medical insurance you currently have, it’s important to understand the financial ramifications of this type of surgery. Also with specialized surgeries, comes scarcity of physicians who can perform these procedures, so it is important that you gather as much information before hand to be well educated to the risks, costs, benefits, and recovery time needed for this or any type of surgery.

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