Laminotomy is where part of the lamina (bony canal behind the discs containing the spinal cord and nerves) is removed.

Which conditions can be improved by this procedure?

It is used to treat pressure on the spinal nerves caused by spinal stenosis, sciatica a slipped disc and osteoarthritis.

What is involved?

The procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic. In most cases an incision (cut) is made over the lamina while you are lying on your front and part of the laminar plate is removed, allowing the spinal cord and nerve roots to be decompressed (relieved of pressure). The incision is then closed. Afterwards, you will be given a targeted rehabilitation programme to help you gradually return to your normal activities.

How successful is it?

It’s estimated that over 90 per cent of patients will have an improvement in leg pain while 50-60 per cent of patients will have an improvement in back pain after surgery.

How long does it take to recover?

Most people are able to return home the day after the procedure. You will be given a personalised rehabilitation programme to gradually build your strength and flexibility. Most people can return to normal everyday activities within a month, and to more strenuous activity, including sports, around three to six weeks after surgery.

When can I return to work?

Your surgeon will be able to advise you about this, depending on your job, your rate of progress and recovery but it will usually be around two to four weeks after your operation.

When can I return to sport?

Your surgeon will be able to advise you about this, depending on your rate of progress and recovery.

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.


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