Relieve the pressure of lumbar spinal stenosis with minimally invasive lumbar laminectomy in Dallas, TX

Everyone experiences lower back pain at some point during their lifetime, and most will recover without medical intervention. However, lower back pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis will not heal over time and—in fact—may worsen. This condition occurs when the lower portion of the spinal canal narrows due to bony overgrowths. These overgrowths are known to cause pain, tingling or numbness in your legs, which are often aggravated by standing or walking. In more serious cases, spinal stenosis may cause bowel or bladder incontinence.

What is a lumbar laminectomy?

A lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure Dr. Bidiwala performs to create space around nerves that have been compressed by overgrown ligament, bone, and joints. This procedure is approached posteriorly (from the back) with a small incision made over the affected area. Once muscle tissue is delicately moved aside, bone and ligaments are carefully removed until Dr. Bidiwala has exposed and decompressed the spinal nerve roots responsible for the pain.

What to expect following a lumbar laminectomy

A typical lumbar laminectomy requires a 1- to 3-day hospital stay, with 4 to 6 weeks of limited-activity recovery time.

Though recovery times vary, most people return to work between 2 and 8 weeks following surgery. It largely depends on the physical demands of your job. We recommend no bending, twisting, lifting or strenuous exercise for 8 weeks post surgery. This ensures your body has the time it needs to heal properly.

Lumbar laminectomies effectively relieve leg pain and significantly improve quality of life. However, results of the surgery are largely up to you. It helps to keep a positive attitude and diligently perform your physical therapy exercises. It is important to note that anyone who undergoes a lumbar laminectomy to treat compression needs to be mindful of and focus on using correct posture and lifting techniques to avoid re-injury.

Laminectomies, commonly known as decompression surgeries, are only used when more conservative treatments have failed to relieve your symptoms.

Lumbar Laminectomy

Quick Facts

Possible Symptoms

  • Leg pain, numbness, and/or weakness
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Worse with standing or walking
  • Better with sitting or leaning forward

Typical X-Ray Findings

  • Narrow spinal canal with crowded nerve roots (MRI, CT myelogram).

Average Procedure Time

  • 1.5 hours

Average Recovery Time

  • Home the same or next day
  • Off work 2-8 weeks, depending on duties

Postperative Limitations

  • No bending, twisting, lifting, or strenuous exercises (8 weeks)
  • No driving while on narcotics

The Procedure

Laminectomies are performed via posterior approaches,that is, from behind, whether they are in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine.  An incision is made over the affected area, and  bone is removed until the ligaments come into view.  The ligaments are then carefully removed until the nerve roots and the thecal sac containing them are fully exposed and decompressed.

If a disc herniation is contributing to the narrowing of the spinal canal, a lumbar microdiscectomy may be performed after the laminectomy is complete.

Traditional Laminectomy vs. Minimally Invasive Laminectomy

An incision is made in the midline. Muscle is burned and then peeled off of enough of the spine in order to expose the bone that needs to be removed. A spiked retractor holds the muscle off of the bone while the laminectomy is performed.

An incision is made 1-2 centimeters off of the midline. Muscle bundles are separated bluntly (with a gloved finger) through natural tissue planes in order to place a fiberoptically lit tubular retractor. The tubular retractor is angled in order to view and remove bone and ligaments causing nerve root compression on both sides.

To learn more about our minimally invasive lumbar laminectomy procedure, or to schedule an appointment, please call 204-823-2052. You can also request an appointment using our easy online form.