Laminectomy vs. Laminotomy: What’s Right for Me?

Laminectomy and laminotomy are surgeries performed on the spine that involve accessing the lamina—the flat, outside bone of the spinal canal. These surgeries are known as spinal decompression surgeries and are quite similar in nature; the only difference is how the lamina is approached.

In a laminectomy, the lamina is entirely removed from the spine. Only part of it is removed in a laminotomy. The type of surgery that best benefits you depends on your spine and other health-related circumstances. Reach out to an experienced spine surgeon to learn more about what’s causing your pain and the most effective ways to treat it.

Spinal Conditions Treated with a Laminectomy or Laminotomy

Although a laminectomy and laminotomy are two separate methods, the purpose remains the same—to add space around the spinal cord in order to relieve compression. The compression of the spine and surrounding nerves can be extremely painful, causing weakness, numbness, and tingling sensations. A spine surgeon may perform a laminectomy or laminotomy for the following spinal disorders:

If you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions, visit a trusted spine specialist near you for a proper examination. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re receiving an accurate diagnosis and overview of your options moving forward.

Supplemental Procedures That May Be Performed

Often, laminotomies and laminectomies are not performed in the same operation, but they may both be performed if your condition is debilitating and affects various parts of the spine. In some cases, your surgeon may perform supplemental spinal procedures, such as:

  • Discectomy: This procedure is performed to remove part of a damaged or slipped disc to alleviate pressure on nerves.
  • Spinal fusion: This spinal surgery is used to treat a variety of spinal issues. Surgeons fuse vertebra at the source of pain to reduce movement.
  • Foraminotomy: This spinal surgery addresses the narrowing of the neuroforamina—the small exit holes that nerves pass through.

After your surgeon assesses how to handle your lamina appropriately, they may decide that it’s necessary to perform one of the above surgical procedures. Generally, it’s not unusual for an additional procedure to be performed on your spine because laminectomies and laminotomies are used to treat herniated discs where damaged discs may need to be removed.

Laminectomy and Laminotomy Procedure Details

Whether you receive a laminectomy or a laminotomy, both are performed on the body’s posterior side (you will be lying face down). Your surgeon will pinpoint the location of your pain and make a small incision to access your lamina. Your surgeon will then use a surgical retractor to pull back tissues, fat, and skin to produce a visible field to the lamina. Using a retractor helps prevent damage to nearby structures, muscles, and tissues.

Once all structures are moved aside, the lamina will either be cut or removed completely. Fortunately, these procedures are performed using a minimally invasive technique, so you can expect minimal time in the hospital and a speedy recovery.

Cutting-Edge Treatments at New Jersey Spine and Orthopedics

New Jersey Spine and Orthopedics offers specialized healthcare services to those across New Jersey, New York, and Florida. Our expert team is capable of delivering comprehensive care to combat your specific health challenges. No matter what’s holding you back, we make it our priority to help you attain your goals.

At NJ Spine and Orthopedics, we believe quality care is an integral part of everyone’s life. Our elite team of board-certified physicians and medical staff are committed to providing you with a range of services delivered in a comfortable and safe environment. With our award-winning team, you can rest assured you’re receiving optimal care services. Call (866) 272-9271 or complete our contact form today to learn more about your options for treating pain.

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