What is a laminectomy?

Laminectomy, also called decompression laminectomy, is a surgical procedure to reduce the pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots caused by spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. The condition puts pressure on your nerves or spinal cord, which leads to pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs, back, neck and arms.

How it works

Decompression laminectomy reduces the pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots caused by spinal stenosis.

In a decompression laminectomy, surgery is done on the spine to remove the rear portion of one or more spinal bones known as lamina, and a thickened layer of the ligament known as the ligamentum flavum.

By removing these parts, the spinal canal is enlarged and pressure on the spine is relieved. This, in turn, helps to relieve back pain.

Why do you need a laminectomy?

Spinal laminectomy reduces the symptoms caused by pressure in your spine and helps you return to normal activities.

Laminectomy can also be used to treat spinal injuries, herniated discs (slipped discs) and spinal tumours.

What are the risks and complications of a laminectomy?

Decompression laminectomy is considered to be a low-risk procedure that is generally successful in relieving the symptoms of spinal stenosis. However, like any other surgery, it carries a small risk.

The surgical risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Leakage of spinal fluid
  • Nerve injury
  • Wound infection

The majority of patients see an improvement in symptoms after 6 weeks. However, for some patients, the pain may persist or return.

Why choose Gleneagles Hospital?

At Gleneagles Hospital, our international patients come to Singapore for the expertise of our orthopaedic consultants and surgeons.

Our patients undergoing laminectomy will receive comprehensive care and treatment from our team of medical professionals including occupational and physiotherapists, as they heal in the comfort of our private hospital.

Our orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons

Our bone surgeons and neurosurgeons help patients with spinal conditions return to an active lifestyle with their surgical expertise and skill.

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