A laminotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to free up compressed nerves in the spinal column. A small part of the vertebral arch is removed to free up compressed nerve roots.
The lamina (Latin for plate, or layer) consists of two plates that fuse the roof of the vertebral arch. The purpose of a laminotomy is to expand the opening of the lamina to reduce pressure on the nerves that pass through the spine.
Who Can Benefit From A Laminectomy / Laminotomy?
Minimally invasive spinal laminotomy can treat a number of conditions, including:
- Pinched nerves
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
Laminotomy is the partial removal of the lamina. Laminectomy is the complete removal of the lamina. It is important to know that the terms are often used interchangeably.
Laminectomy Surgical Procedure
The first step in a laminotomy is making a small incision in the back and inserting a tube into the spine that gently pushes out the surrounding muscles and ligaments (allowing the surgeon to work without cutting any of the surrounding musculature). Once the tube is inserted, the surgeon will begin working on releasing the compressed or pinched nerves. Once the nerves have been freed up, the tube will be removed and the initial incision will be stitched.
A laminectomy is a similar procedure in which a part of the lamina is completely removed. This is an open back procedure, and may be required when compression is more severe.
Spine Surgery Recovery
Laminectomies and laminotomies are minimally invasive procedures. As a result, recovery is generally quick and easy. The procedure itself usually takes less than an hour from start to finish. Patients are allowed to walk out of the hospital after another 1-2 hours following surgery.
Twin Cities Spine Surgeons
Contact Midwest Spine & Brain Institute at 1.800.353.7720 or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our St. Paul spine surgeons and determine whether you are a candidate for this minimally invasive procedure.