Lumbar Laminectomy (Lumbar Lami)

A laminectomy is a very common back procedure during which the rear portion of one or more vertebrae are removed. This rear portion is called the lamina, and removing it can relieve pressure on the spinal column and nerves.

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Provider List

2900 12th Avenue North #140W & #100E
Billings, MT 59101
(406) 237-5050

When Procedure is Used

Laminectomies are usually performed when you have a herniated disc or an overgrowth of bone within the spinal canal. With a herniated disc, a laminectomy gives your surgeon access to the disc. If bony overgrowths are putting pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, a leminectory will reduce this pressure by providing more space in your spinal canal. Prior to considering a laminectomy, you will likely have already tried other conservative treatment methods such as injections and physical therapy, or you may be experiencing numbness or weakness in your muscles. In some cases, people lose bowel or bladder control as a result of compressed nerves, and a laminectomy can alleviate this pressure.

During Surgery

You will be given general anesthesia to make sure you relax your muscles and to prevent pain and help you fall asleep. Your surgeon will then make an incision in your back to move aside the muscle and remove the rear portion of the affected vertebrae and, if necessary, a herniated disc. In some cases, the surgeon will also fuse two or more bones in your spine to provide additional stability.


The risk of complications is very low. However, potential risks might include

  • allergic reactions to medications
  • spinal cord or nerve damage
  • bleeding or blood clots
  • infection
  • injury to surrounding tissues
  • numbness


  • elimination of or decrease in symptoms such as numbness and weakness
  • decrease in pain

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