A minimally invasive laminectomy, also known as decompression surgery, involves trimming or removing part of a vertebra (spinal bone) to widen the spinal canal and create more space for the spinal cord.
The spine surgeons at Tampa General Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute are uniquely experienced in performing laminectomy procedures and incorporate advanced robotic technologies to achieve world-class outcomes with as little downtime impossible. In fact, our team carries out more minimally invasive spine procedures than any other hospital in the region, and we currently perform the most complex spine operations in all of Florida.
Why Would Someone Need a Laminectomy?
A laminectomy is an effective treatment option for spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and causes painful compression of the spinal cord and nerves. As the spine ages and becomes arthritic, small bone growths called bone spurs may appear on the vertebrae and intrude too far into the spinal canal, resulting in spinal stenosis.
Individuals with spinal stenosis may want to consider a traditional or minimally invasive laminectomy if conservative treatments such as physical therapy, pain medication, steroid injections or muscle relaxers don’t provide sufficient relief from disruptive symptoms such as:
- Radiating pain that extends to the arms or legs
- Muscle weakness, tingling or numbness that interferes with daily activities
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
What Does a Minimally Invasive Laminectomy Involve?
Minimally invasive laminectomy surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure:
- A small incision is made over the affected area.
- Special instruments are used to trim or remove the lamina—the arched part of the vertebra that forms the spinal canal.
- Portions of arthritic bone or a damaged spinal disc may also be removed through the incision.
- The incision is closed and the surgery is complete.
What Can I Expect Following a Minimally Invasive Laminectomy?
Patients who undergo minimally invasive laminectomy surgery usually spend one or two nights in the hospital for monitoring. The recovery process will vary from person to person, but the majority of patients are able to return to normal activities in about six weeks following the procedure.
Many people report a significant reduction in pain—most notably, pain that radiates down the arms or legs—after surgery. For the best outcomes, it’s important to follow all post-operative guidelines from your care team.
TGH’s Neuroscience Institute has helped countless patients find relief from spinal narrowing through comprehensive treatment programs and advanced surgical techniques, including minimally invasive procedures. Our expertise is evidenced by our 2023-24 status as a “high performing” hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery from U.S. News & World Report—meaning TGH ranks among the top 10% of hospitals nationwide.
To schedule an appointment at Tampa General Hospital and learn about your spinal stenosis treatment options, call (800) 822-3627.