Does a Laminectomy Relieve Pinched Nerves?
A pinched nerve in the spine can cause symptoms in the back and into the limbs ranging from mild discomfort to shooting pain, weakness, and restricted motion. When conservative treatments for pinched nerve such as physical therapy, medication or injections fail to provide sufficient relief, spine surgery can be an option for many patients with severe symptoms of pinched nerves. In some patients, a laminectomy may be the appropriate spinal surgery procedure. A laminectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a portion of the lamina, the bony sheath that surrounds the spinal canal, to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve. The back surgery involves removing a small portion of the bone, disc, and tissue from the spine that is impinging on the nerve roots and tissues. Today, advanced minimally invasive spinal surgery makes laminectomies much more effective, with less risk of complication, than traditional invasive laminectomy operations of the recent years. But no form of surgery should be undertaken lightly, so patients rightly want to know whether a laminectomy will actually relieve the pressure on the nerve that is causing the pain and other problems they’re experiencing. The answer is yes. Removing portions of the lamina impinging on the affected nerve has a dramatic and immediate impact on pain and other affects of nerve compression. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs help make these procedures effective by assisting in identifying the problem and with preoperative planning.
A laminectomy may be appropriate for people with pinched nerves resulting from spinal stenosis, herniated disc, and other related conditions. Some patients with spondylolisthesis, where one vertebrae slips over another, potentially compressing spinal nerves, can also benefit from a laminectomy. However, spinal surgery should always be a last resort. Before surgery is considered, appropriate conservative therapies designed to relieve pressure on pinched nerves should be exhausted. These therapies include exercises to loosen the spine, physical therapy, medications, and epidural steroid injections. Should these approaches provide insufficient relief, it’s good to know laminectomy can provide a safe and effective surgical solution for symptoms of pinched nerves. Here at New Jersey Spine Specialists, with offices inSummit andMontclair, we have extensive experience with all these protocols.