Thoracic Laminectomy

Pain in the thoracic (mid-back) region of the spine can be quite problematic. Mid-back pain that does not respond to non-surgical treatment options can limit patients' abilities to perform their jobs or daily living activities. A thoracic laminectomy is a special type of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) that is used to treat the most common cause of mid-back pain: spinal stenosis. The spine surgeons at Hope Orthopedics specialize in performing minimally invasive thoracic laminectomy procedures.

A Minimally Invasive Thoracic Laminectomy at Hope Orthopedics

A minimally invasive thoracic laminectomy is performed under general anesthesia. A board-certified anesthesiologist is responsible for anesthesia administration and monitoring patients to make sure they are completely asleep and can feel no pain. The steps used to perform the procedure consist of the following:

  • Incision. An incision is carefully made over the vertebrae that will be operated on.
  • Laminectomy. The back wall (lamina) of vertebrae that are affected by spinal stenosis is removed. This decompresses pinched nerves by creating space for the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots.

After the laminectomy is complete, the incision is carefully closed. Sterile dressings are used to ensure the incision heals properly. They are also used to prevent infection. Total procedure time is approximately 1-2 hours.


The procedure may be performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis. A general timeline for recovery is as follows:

  • 2-3 days after their procedure patients may get up and start walking.
  • Patients first follow-up appointment with their spine specialist will occur approximately 2 weeks after surgery. Stitches will probably be taken out at this appointment.
  • 4-6 weeks after surgery patients will be allowed to increase their activity levels.

The timeframe for complete recovery depends on the healing processes of patients and their responses to physical therapy. At each postoperative appointment, patients are given important information regarding how their recoveries are progressing.


Following the procedure, patients are in less pain because their spinal canal is wider and their nerves are no longer compressed. Cramps and other problems that were caused by spinal stenosis cease. Patients are able to live happy, healthy and pain-free lives after they have fully recovered from surgery. If you are experiencing mid-back pain and would like a treatment solution, please contact Hope Orthopedics to schedule an appointment with one of our spine specialists.