If spinal stenosis causes back pain, the spinal canal must become larger by a surgical procedure. Any bone spurs pressing on the nerves must also get removed. A complete laminectomy will solve the problem. Laminectomy means “remove the lamina.”

Take the Scoliosis Quiz ON THE Lumbar Laminectomy webpage
Pain Quiz

The Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute has skilled surgeons that are expert in conducting a Lumbar Laminectomy

Lumbar Laminectomy

Most back pain occurs because of degenerative changes that occur in the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine and the joints between each vertebra. In some cases, degenerative changes in the lumbar spine can cause too much pressure on the nerves that travel through the spinal canal. When this condition occurs, the nerves in the spinal canal are in danger. To stop the pain, doctors perform a surgical procedure to remove the pressure on the spinal nerves by opening the spinal canal from the back to make the spinal canal larger.  Also, this action refers to a procedure called a Lumbar Laminectomy surgery.

Learn about lumbar laminectomy including:

  • what parts of the spine become affected
  • why perform this procedure 
  • what you can expect from this procedure
  • how rehab can improve your results



Lumbar Scoliosis SurgeryIn order to understand your symptoms and treatment options, it helps to begin with a basic understanding of the general anatomy of the low back. This includes becoming familiar with the various parts that make up the lumbar spine and how these parts work together.

Learn more about the anatomy of the lumbar spine.

The spinal cord and spinal nerves are protected inside a bony tube within the spinal column. Likewise, the pedicle and lamina bones form this tube and connect to the vertebral body, while the lamina bones attach to the pedicles. Similarly, lamina bones cover the back of the spinal canal, forming protection over the spinal cord and spinal nerves.


Questions and Answers

What is a Lumbar Laminectomy?

A lumbar laminectomy, also known as decompressive laminectomy, is a surgical procedure performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves in the lower back (lumbar spine). It involves removing a portion of the lamina, the bony arch at the back of the vertebra, to create more space and alleviate compression on the spinal canal.

why is a Lumbar Laminectomy Performed?

A lumbar laminectomy is typically performed to treat conditions that cause spinal canal narrowing, such as spinal stenosis. The procedure aims to alleviate symptoms such as leg pain, numbness, weakness, or difficulty walking that result from compression of the spinal nerves. It may also be recommended for individuals with herniated discs, tumors, or other spinal abnormalities that cause nerve compression and require surgical intervention.

what is the recovery process like after a Lumbar Laminectomy?

The recovery process following a lumbar laminectomy can vary depending on factors such as the extent of the procedure, individual healing capabilities, and overall health. However, some common aspects of the recovery process include:

  • Hospital stay: Typically, patients stay in the hospital for a few days following the surgery to monitor their condition and manage pain.
  • Pain management: Medications are often prescribed to manage pain and discomfort during the initial recovery period.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy or rehabilitation may be recommended to help regain strength, flexibility, and function. A structured exercise program will be tailored to the individual’s needs and gradually increase in intensity.
  • Return to activities: The timeline for returning to normal activities, including work and physical activities, varies. It is important to follow the surgeon’s guidelines regarding lifting restrictions, bending, and twisting to avoid strain on the healing surgical site.
  • Follow-up appointments: Regular follow-up visits with the surgeon will be scheduled to monitor progress, address any concerns, and evaluate the success of the surgery.
Appointments within 24 Hours


If spinal stenosis causes your back pain, doctors will enlarge the spinal canal and remove bone spurs pressing on nerves.  A complete laminectomy. Laminectomy means “remove the lamina” and can enlarge the spine.  Removing the lamina and any bone spurs will give more room for the nerves. Therefore, a laminectomy reduces the pressure on the spinal nerves; thereby, decreasing any irritation or inflammation.

Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery

To perform a lumbar spine laminectomy, the surgeon makes an incision down the center of the lower back. Then the surgeon moves the muscles to the side. Once the doctor reaches the spine from the back, he or she identifies each vertebra. The surgeon will probably take an X-ray during surgery to ensure that the correct vertebrae and laminae are identified. Once determined, the lamina of the affected vertebra gets removed. Any bone spurs found sticking off the back of the vertebrae get removed as well. Finally, the surgeon takes great care to not damage the spinal nerve roots.

In the lumbar spine, removing the lamina completely may cause problems with the stability of the facet joints between each vertebra. If these joints become damaged during the laminectomy, the spine may begin to tilt forward causing problems later. Sometimes removal of part or all the facet joints are unavoidable.

The surgeon sometimes has to remove too many of the facet joints during a laminectomy. In this case, doctors may consider a fusion at the same time to prevent any problems later. In short, the surgeon will probably discuss this possibility with you before surgery.

Learn more about instrumented spine fusion.


Like all surgical procedures, operations on the spine may have complications. Because the surgeon operates around the spinal cord and nerves, back operations are always considered extremely delicate and potentially dangerous. To sum up, you should take the time to review the risks associated with spine surgery with your doctor. In conclusion, make sure you agree with the risks and the benefits of the procedure planned for your treatment.

Learn more about possible complications of spine surgery.


To clarify, you will get up and begin moving a few hours after surgery.  Consequently, you should limit your activities to avoid doing too much too soon. Furthermore, most patients return home when their medical condition stabilizes, usually within one to two days after surgery.

Learn more about surgical aftercare.

Physical Therapy

Your doctor may have you attend physical therapy beginning four to six weeks after surgery. Also, a well-rounded rehabilitation program assists in calming pain and inflammation, improving your mobility and strength, and helping you do your daily activities with greater ease and ability.

Therapy sessions may become scheduled two to three times each week for up to six weeks.

The goals of physical therapy will help patients:

  • manage your condition and control symptoms
  • improve flexibility and core strength
  • learn correct posture and body movements to reduce strain on your back
  • return to work safely

Learn more about post-operative spinal rehabilitation.



Our office will obtain Pre-authorization insurance from your insurance company. You may also receive a confirmation letter from them authorizing a one or two-day stay in the hospital.  When your doctor finds that added days are needed, one of our caseworkers will update your status and extend the authorization. If you are transferring to a rehab center, we will obtain the insurance authority for the move.

Have your Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery Conducted by the Best

The Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute defines quality as a comprehensive look at all aspects of a patient’s experience. Accordingly, patients should seek the best care and find a doctor who is one of the very best in their field.

Measuring Quality

  • Outcomes achieved such as mortality rates and surgical infections with the lowest in the nation.
  • Compliance with researched evidence-based processes enhances care.
  • The volume of patients with complex diagnoses and procedures successfully treated.
  • The safety record of the hospital your doctor plans to utilize for the procedure.

Quality and service can also be measured in other ways, such as:

  • A correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Making sure each patient is treated with respect, kindness, and dignity by every member of the team.
  • Timely appointments and that you actually see the doctor.
  • Ensuring appropriate and successful diagnosing and treatment plans.

To measure quality, the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute considers the totality of a patient’s experience, from the first phone call to the last appointment. Above all, we take pride in the quality healthcare provided at each of our DallasPlano, and Frisco, Texas office locations.


National Institute of Health: Lumbar Laminectomy

If you or a loved one suffers from spinal pain, you owe it to yourself to call Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment.