Laminotomy is a procedure that works to decompress the spinal nerve root and/ or spinal cord by removing part of a lamina of the vertebral arch. This started as a hemilaminectomy which is the removal of half of the lamina, left or right, but now is the removal of portions of both sides of the lamina to allow for vertebral stability.

Laminotomy is most often accompanied by a facetectomy which is the decompression of a spinal nerve root.

How it is Performed

When a laminotomy is performed, the patient is laid down on a spinal board or well-padded laminectomy frame and sedated with a harsh anesthesia. In the middle of the back or the neck, an incision is made over the affected area. The laminae above the spinal cord and nerve roots are exposed by cutting back the muscles beneath the skin. Bone is then removed in order to decompress or expose the spine.

Reasons to Get a Laminotomy

•    Weakness, pain or numbness in your leg/ foot
•    Leg pain that is worse than back pain
•    Difficulty walking or standing that affects your quality of life
•    Diagnostic tests such as MRI, CT or myelogram that shows stenosis


•    Discomfort
•    Vertebrae Failure to Fuse
•    Deep vein thrombosis
•    Hardware fracture
•    Bone graft migration
•    Transitional syndrome
•    Nerve damage or persistent pain

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