Laminectomy procedure is performed through an incision on the lower back. The surgeon removes a section of bone, called the lamina, from one or more vertebrae. This relieves pressure on the nerve roots caused by stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal).
Removing the Spinous Process
First, the surgeon removes the spinous process (the portion of the vertebra that protrudes furthest from the back of the spine). These are the bones that you feel when you touch the middle portion of your lower back.
Removing the Lamina
The surgeon removes the lamina (the portion of the vertebra that covers the nerve roots). Removing the damaged lamina opens up the spinal canal, taking pressure off the nerves.
Clearing Bone Fragments
There still may be some pinching from pressure within the area where the nerve root exits the spine, called the nerve foramen. The surgeon clears away any bone fragments that are pressing on the nerve roots.
End of Procedure
The spinal canal is now clear of any bone fragments, which relieves pressure from the nerve roots. The surgeon checks the nerve roots to make sure they are no longer being pinched.