Our spine is the important part of the body because of which movement is possible. Giving importance to spinal health is very essential to keep moving throughout life. Just imagine a life, without movement where you are immobile. It is quite difficult to deal with it. At times, we do not understand the importance of movement in our life.
As years pass by, the spinal health also tends to deteriorate and there may be wear and tear associated with the joints. Here, is the need to give importance to spinal health. Most of the time, spinal health is neglected. We tend to give more importance to brain and heart health. As age advances, the usage of spine increases.
The discs of the spine and the soft tissue structures of our spine will start to degenerate. The structure of the spine may become arthritic and enlarged putting more pressure on the spine. Neglecting spine health as we age can detroriate the problem and cause disability in future.
THE NEW ERA OF SPINAL SURGERIES : SPINAL LAMINECTOMY
With the advancements in the medical field, there are many new surgeries coming up everyday for spine. One such surgery which is worth mentioning is the Spinal Laminectomy. Spinal Laminectomy is a very common spinal procedure in which the lamina bone is removed.
The goal of the Spinal Laminectomy is to relieve the pressure on the spine which is caused due to aging. Spinal Laminectomy can be performed in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine, however the lumbar spine is the most common location.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPINAL LAMINECTOMY
Spinal Laminectomy is the surgery that relieves the compression of the spinal cord. A doctor may recommend this surgery for those who experience chronic back pain which does not improve with other treatments.
Laminectimy involves partial or complete removal of the lamina which is the part of the vertebral bone. The lamina is the part of the vertebrae that covers and protects the spinal cord. Some people may refer to the surgery as the posterior spinal decompression.
WHEN DO DOCTORS SUGGEST PATIENTS TO GO FOR SPINAL LAMINECTOMY
Doctors use this procedure to treat the symptoms of spinal stenosis and herniated discs. Doctors use laminectomy to widen the spinal canal and relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or to the bony spurs that compresses the nerve roots.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPINAL LAMINECTOMY
Types of laminectomy & Procedure
Cervical Laminectomy : In this procedure, the surgeons perform surgery in the cervical or the neck region of the spine.
Lumbar Laminectomy : In this procedure, the surgeons perform surgery in the lumbar or the lower back region of the spine
Sacral Laminectomy : In this procedure, the surgeons perform surgery in the sacral or the lower part of the spine
DEPENDING ON THE LOCATION AND THE SEVERITY, SPINAL STENOSIS CAN LEAD TO:
- Pain in the neck and lower back
- Numbness of legs and hands
- Aching pain in the legs and hands
- Tingling or burning sensation of the hands and legs
- Cramping and weakness of legs,arms, feet and hand
- Difficulty in walking
- Difficulty in controlling bowel and bladder movements
- Arthritis of spine including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal injuries such as accidents and falls
- Herniated or slipped disc from aging or moving heavy objects
- Tumours growing inside the spinal canal
- Bony outgrowths growing inside the spinal canal
Through spinal laminectomy, many problems of the spine can be relieved.
WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER SPINAL LAMINECTOMY?
A doctor may explain specific preparation requirements during the appointment before the surgery. Before laminectomy, the doctor may ask the patient the following-
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Have a healthy diet a week before
- Stop taking any blood thinning medicines like aspirin and warfarin as per doctor’s advice
- Avoid eating and drinking several hours before surgery
- Get back spinal brace and other supportive devices which can be used for home care
- Place daily essentials like clothes and food at an easily accessible place.
- Inform your doctor about the prescription and over the counter medicines you are consuming
- Inform about the vitamins, supplements and herbs which you are consuming
- Inform the doctor if you’re pregnant or family planning
- Inform the doctor incase of any allergies with medications, anesthetics or latex
Certain points which you must bear in mind. Ensure the following:
- The patient needs to make sure that he has some transportation arranged to and from the hospital.
- It is a good idea to arrange for some help around the house for a few weeks after surgery.
- This can be a great support and help you recover faster and at ease.
- Do not hesitate in taking professional help from the hospital and asking questions to your healthcare advisor about the same in advance.
During the procedure, a surgeon will perform the spinal Laminectomy in following steps –
- Disinfect and clean the skin to make the incision
- Make a small cut in the spine
- Move the skin, muscle and ligaments away so that he can access the spinal column
- Have targeted approach towards the spine
- Carefully cut away the part or all of lamina bones
- Remove the bony outgrowths, broken or loose disk fragments
- Correct the disinclined, fractures or weak vertebrae by fusing two or more vertebrae
- Align the spine correctly
- Close the incision and stitches
- Closed the covered incision with gauze bandage
- These are certain steps which the surgeon may complete in case of spinal laminectomy.
What to expect after Spinal laminectomy surgery:
Your surgery is done and you are ready to walk. Once the person wakes up after their surgery, the doctor must try walking them on their own.
- Some people can go home after surgery, while some other patients need to stay back in hospital for 1- 4 days.
- During the next few weeks, let the incision and stitches heal.
- One should focus on a healthy diet and water.
- Avoid unhealthy foods which are high in fat as you will confined to one place
- Take plenty of rest throughout the day
- Avoid exercising for few weeks and let your spine heal
- Avoid bending and twisting the spine
- Avoid driving and pushing heavy machinery
- Avoid lifting, pulling, pushing heavy objects
- During the recovery period, take your medicines as per the prescription of your doctor
- Do not skip medicines or miss doses
- Take regular timely follow ups and take doctor’s instructions.
- A doctor and nurse will explain how to take care of incision
- Following these steps will help the incision heal faster and prevent infections.
RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS:
Every form of surgery has some risk and side effects. The main aim of your doctor is to help you during the recovery period with minimum risk and no side effects. Spinal Laminectomy has following side effects-
- Muscle, ligament or nerve damage
- Infection at surgical site
- A blood clot in legs
- Difficult breathing
- Get anxious before and after surgery
- An allergic reaction to the anesthetic or any medicines
- Post operative back pain.
Recovery will depend on the person’s fitness and activity levels. It usually takes 4 -6 weeks for a person to return to normal level of mobility and function. However, this will depend on the severity of the condition and symptoms before operation.
Following spinal laminectomy, a patient will notice significant relief from spinal stenosis symptoms. Spinal Lamientomy is safe and effective treatment for people with spinal stenosis.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from severe back pain (spinal stenosis), our expert providers at Specialty Care Clinics will take care of your health and help you recover.