Laminectomy/Laminotomy

Laminectomy/Laminotomy

Your spine consists of vertebrae, all stacked in a column, called the spinal column. The vertebrae are a unique shape, and their job is to hold the body upright and to protect the spinal cord, which runs through them. Each backbone or vertebra has two laminae. These laminae are arch-shaped and are located closer to the internal body than the outside of the body. Other parts of the vertebra are located near the laminae: the facet joint and the spinal process. 

The laminae are made of bone and they rarely cause problems. However, surgery on them can be helpful in other conditions. Spinal conditions may cause severe pain if the spinal cord or nearby nerves are compressed. Operations performed on the laminae can help to make the spinal column wider, which relieves the pressure and pain. Surgery on the laminae is also used to help treat spinal deformities.

What is the Difference Between Laminectomy and Laminotomy?

Sometimes even doctors and nurses interchange these two words, but there is a distinction. In a laminectomy, the lamina is completely removed. Only a portion of the lamina is removed in a laminotomy.

Reasons for a laminectomy or laminotomy

The main reason for either of these procedures is to remove the pressure from the nerves near the spinal cord or from the spinal cord itself.

Even though a portion of the vertebra is removed, the spinal cord remains protected inside the spinal column which consists of hard backbones, even when a laminectomy or laminotomy is performed.

Some conditions these procedures are used to treat include the following:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal stenosis 

Other reasons for laminotomy or laminectomy   


Sometimes during the course of another procedure on the spine, the surgeon may need to remove part of or the entire lamina to gain access to the vertebra or the disc that needs repair. For instance, if a herniated disc cannot be easily accessed without removing part of the lamina, a laminotomy may be performed. If a tumor is located near the vertebrae, a laminectomy may be needed before the mass can be extracted.

What to Expect from Laminectomy/Laminotomy

Laminectomy and laminotomy procedures are performed for many different conditions, so much depends on your underlying condition. Discuss your particular situation with your doctor. In general, if the lamina are easily removed and no further measures need to be taken to support the spine, your rehabilitation and recovery could be very quick. If other procedures are necessary to stabilize the spine, such as spinal fusion, recovery may take more time.

The World Health Organization reports that the majority of patients who underwent laminectomy or laminotomy surgery on their lower back had recovered to their normal state of health within one year after surgery. While these operations can take pressure off the spinal cord and the nerves, they do not stop the normal process of wear and tear that leads to degeneration, or other underlying causes such as obesity. This means the relief they provide may not be permanent.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers