A micro-lumbar laminotomy is a special type of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS). It is used to decompress pinched spinal nerve roots in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine. The difference between a laminectomy and a laminotomy can be explained as follows:
- Laminectomy. Complete removal of the back wall (lamina) of a lumbar vertebra.
- Laminotomy. Partial removal of the lamina.
A laminotomy is beneficial to patients who have a condition that is serious enough to require surgery but not serious enough to undergo a laminectomy. The spine specialists at Hope Orthopedics perform minimally invasive micro-lumbar laminotomy procedures that are designed to treat the unique conditions and symptoms of each patient.
A Micro-Lumbar Laminotomy at Hope Orthopedics
General anesthesia that is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist is used during a micro-lumbar laminotomy. Medications are given to patients before, during, and after surgery so very little discomfort or pain is felt. The two surgical techniques that may be used to perform the procedure are the following:
- Tubular. A small incision is made. Tubes of increasing sizes are passed through the incision until the specialist can view the lumbar vertebrae. Micro-instruments are passed through the tubes and then used to carefully remove portions of the lamina that are pinching nerve roots.
- Endoscopic. A small incision is made. A tiny camera is inserted into the incision. The lumbar vertebrae are visualized on a video monitor that is connected to the camera. Micro-instruments are used to remove portions of the lamina.
Micro-Lumbar Discectomy Results
Incisions are closed using special sutures. Sterile dressings are placed over incisions to promote healing and prevent infection. Total procedure time is approximately one to two hours.
Micro-Lumbar Laminotomy Recovery
Patients are brought to the post-operative recovery room after their procedure. The majority of patients are able to be driven home by a family member or friend after the procedure. One of the advantages of a micro-lumbar discectomy is the recovery time is very short. Many patients are able to return to their normal lives in six weeks or less.
Micro-Lumbar Laminotomy Results
Symptom relief in the form of decreased pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the lower extremities and lower back is seen. Often times, patients experience significant symptom improvement within a few days. Complete results are not seen until the vertebral bone heals and nerve inflammation goes down. The time frame for complete results is dependent on the initial condition and healing processes. Patients will be told exactly how long their recovery will take before their surgery.
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal and subsequent pinching of spinal nerve roots. The main symptoms of spinal stenosis are pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the lower extremities and lower back. When portions of the back wall of a lumbar vertebra are removed during a micro-lumbar laminotomy, the spinal canal becomes larger and nerve roots are no longer pinched. Significant symptom relief occurs. Patients who experience the symptoms of spinal stenosis are encouraged to schedule an initial consultation with one of the spine specialists at Hope Orthopedics.