What is a Laminectomy?

The lamina is the back part of a vertebra that covers your spinal canal. When a person has osteoarthritis, the persistent inflammation in the facet joints can create bone spurs on the lamina. These then press on the spinal cord or nerve roots exiting the spinal cord. 

At DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, Dr. Tinley performs laminectomies to enlarge the compressed space and relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. 

What is osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis is behind most of the problems with the lamina of the spine. This is colloquially known as “wear and tear” arthritis and is simply the degradation of the facet joints of the spine over time due to their constant loads and other applied forces. 

Persistent Inflammation in the joints damages them and they begin to wear down. This allows the vertebrae to begin to push together and grind. This often leads to bones spurs and spinal cord compression. 

What is a laminectomy? 

As with all our DFW Center for Spinal Disorders patients with chronic back pain, Dr. Tinley only performs a laminectomy after various conservative treatment options have been exhausted and the patient still is dealing with debilitating chronic pain. Here’s how he does this procedure. 

He first makes an incision on your back above the affected vertebrae. The muscles over your spine are moved to the sides to expose the spine. He then cuts the lamina, which makes up the back side of the vertebrae. This instantly creates more space for the spinal cord and nerve roots, relieving pressure. 

If you also have a herniated disc in the same location, a discectomy may be included with the laminectomy. This will remove the herniated portion of the disc. 

In most cases, your Dr. Tinley can perform your laminectomy using minimally invasive techniques. This involves much shorter incisions, which makes for less pain, blood loss, and an easier recovery. 

After your laminectomy 

Most patients spend one night in the hospital, but that is not always the case. You will need to limit any bending, stooping, or lifting for several weeks after your laminectomy. Your return to work and other activities will be dependent upon the extent of the procedure. 

Do you suffer from chronic neck or lower back pain? There’s no reason to simply live with it. Call Dr. Tinley at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685, to schedule your appointment.  

Posted in: Osteoarthritis

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