Hemilaminectomy is surgery to help alleviate the symptoms of an impinged or irritated nerve root in the spine. During this procedure, surgeons remove part of a vertebra called a lamina. This removal of bone creates create more space in the spinal canal and is meant to release nerve tissue from pressure.
Each vertebra contains two laminae, which are bony segments that form the rear of the vertebral arch and serve as a base for the protruding spinous process. During a conventional laminectomy, both of the laminae are typically removed. Hemilaminectomy, however, involves only the removal of one or the other of the laminae.
Hemilaminectomy might become an option when back or neck pain associated with impinged nerve root is not manageable with conservative treatments such as physical therapy, exercise, pain medications, or therapeutic massage. One or the other lamina might be partially or completely removed during this back surgery to either relieve pressure from the impinged or irritated nerve root or to allow the surgeon access to deeper portions of the spinal anatomy.
Spinal conditions that may be treated with hemilaminectomy include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Bulging disc
- Arthritis of the spine
Hemilaminectomy is sometimes confused with laminotomy, which is one of the minimally invasive, outpatient procedures performed by the award-winning surgeons at Laser Spine Institute (LSI). The difference is, hemilaminectomy involves the removal of much more bone tissue than laminotomy. The gentle, endoscopic techniques used by LSI require no hospitalization, leave minimal scar tissue, and are an effective alternative to spinal fusion. Contact LSI to learn more about our procedures and for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.