Laminectomy is the surgical removal of the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. Also known as decompression surgery, laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Laminectomy is most commonly performed to relieve the pressure spinal stenosis places on your spinal cord or nerves. This pressure can cause pain, weakness or numbness that can radiate down your arms or legs. Laminectomy is usually better at relieving these types of radiating symptoms than it is at relieving actual back pain.

  • Typically performed only after all other conservative treatments have failed to relieve symptoms
  • May be recommended if symptoms are severe or worsening dramatically