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Spinal Stenosis: What Can Patients Expect From A Laminectomy? - Dr. Reed

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Dr. Reed describes what a patient can expect after a laminectomy procedure to treat spinal stenosis.

Dr. Reed:
The traditional standard surgery for spinal stenosis is we term a lumbar decompression, most classically a laminectomy.

That’s when the surgeon will go in with an incision and remove a little of the bone covering over the spinal cord.

The bone covering is called the lamina, that part of it, and simply remove part of that and in doing so, remove the pressure from the spinal cord.

Well a laminectomy, a lumbar laminectomy for spinal stenosis, and there’s actually variations in the degree of laminectomy, but if we are talking kind of a standard procedure here, well first I’ll emphasize it is a traditional standard, excellent procedure.

There’s very good outcomes from it in skilled surgical hands, you know, there’s very, very good safety margin to it.

But if we are looking at comparison purposes, laminectomy is an open surgical procedure.

It does carry more risk than say a minimally invasive procedure does and again, it could be quite successful but the recovery period tends to last longer.

Depending on the degree of laminectomy, if it is very minimal patients can go home the same day or the next day.

If it’s a more extensive laminectomy, maybe two or three days in the hospital. So there is some variability there within a couple of days. So not a prolonged day, but indeed a couple of days in the hospital.

In terms of recovery, well our patients tend to do quite well after laminectomy and the recovery they’d have to discuss with their individual surgeon because it will depend again on the degree of the laminectomy.

They can be back to normal activity, meaning driving, getting around, probably within a few days or a week or so and within a few weeks go back to work.

About Dr. Reed:
Dr. Ken Reed was an honors graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, having been elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society, which is limited to the top of the graduating class. He then completed two separate residency programs in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology and ultimately became specialty board certified in three specialties – Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology and Pain Management.

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