Laminectomy

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing results in neurological deficit. Common symptoms include:

  • back pain,
  • affected or loss of motor control,
  • paraesthesia
  • numbness

Post Laminectomy Syndrome

Laminectomy is a procedure in which a part of the vertebra protecting the spinal cord is removed. In the event the patient experiences persistent pain following the surgery, they may be experiencing post-laminectomy syndrome. The symptoms include

  • persistent back pain,
  • in some cases leg pain

What is Laminectomy?

Laminectomy is a medical procedure that generates room in the spine by extracting the lamina.  The lamina is the rear side of the vertebra that protects the spinal canal.  Otherwise called decompression surgery, laminectomy expands the spinal canal to alleviate the harmful pressure on the spinal cord and nerves or nerve roots.  This medical procedure Is usually performed to alleviate the pain of stenosis. During laminectomy procedure, the surgeon may treat one or multiple numbers of vertebrae.

Laminectomy is generally used only when more-conservative treatments — such as medication, physical therapy or injections — have failed to relieve symptoms. Portland Pain and Spine may also recommend laminectomy if symptoms are severe or worsening dramatically.

What does the procedure look like?

Initially, the surgeon cuts a little opening to access the spine. The spinous processes are the bony bumps or lumps that protrudes out from the back of the spine. The doctor carefully extracts the spinous process from the vertebra or vertebrae that requires medical care.

Next step, the surgeon proceeds with the extraction of the lamina. This is that small portion of each vertebra that forms part of the back section of the spinal canal. Clearing away the lamina widens up the spinal canal, producing more room for the nerves. The surgeon may need to clear away the lamina from multiple vertebrae to completely alleviate the pressure.

The surgeon may also consider treating the foramina. These are the orifices positioned on each side of the vertebrae.  This is where the nerve roots exits the spine. The physician inspects these holes and removes any spurs or bony growths that could harmfully press against the nerves or nerve roots.

Surgical staples or sutures are used to close the incision made by the surgeon when the surgery is completed. The patient then stays in the recovery room for a few hours of monitoring before sending home with prescriptions.  Physical therapy is also highly recommended to help heal the spine.

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We want to assure our patients that Portland Pain and Spine remains open and actively managing your pain. Medication management is given the highest priority. Our relocation across the hall in the Washington building is complete but requires office renovation before we can accommodate patient visits. Staffing shortages affected our ability to communicate last month, however, this was temporary. Dr. Balog has reached out to all patients but asks that if anyone has additional questions or concerns to contact him at balog@pdxpainandspine.com.
We have updated our phone messaging system to assist with calls. There are now options to speak with a live receptionist, leave messages or speak with our new billing company. Medical record requests can be processed on our website at www.pdxpainandspine.com and are handled by Morgan Records Management. Thank you for your patience during this transition. We look forward to providing you high-quality care as we enter into 2024! 

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season.