Laminectomy

Laminectomy is when part of the vertebrae (the lamina) is removed, along with the enlarged ligaments that are pressing on your spinal nerves.

Which conditions can be improved by this procedure?

Laminectomy is carried out as open surgery to treat spinal stenosis, a slipped disc, sciatica, and other spinal injuries.

What does the procedure involve?

The surgeon removes the section of bone (lamina) and ligament that has been pressing on the nerve. It is carried out under a general anaesthetic and you will usually be in hospital for one or two days.

How successful is it?

Over 70 per cent of patients will have less pain and find it easier to carry out everyday activities with much less discomfort. It can be particularly effective in improving sciatica which has been caused by spinal stenosis.

How long does it take to recover?

After around two weeks of rest, you will be able to gradually build up strength to return to your normal activities at around six weeks. Your specialist will be able to advise you about this.

When can I return to work?

Depending on the type of work you do, you should be able to return to work between two and four weeks after your procedure. Your specialist will be able to advise you about this.

When can I return to sport?

In most cases, you will be able to gradually resume your sporting activities six to twelve weeks after surgery.

Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.