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Laminotomy and Laminectomy
The spinal canal can decrease in size due to spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or bone spurs. This procedure increases the space of the spinal canal by taking out a section of bone known as the lamina. A laminotomy forms an opening in the lamina; laminectomy is the removal of the lamina and/or a portion of it. Depending on the amount of the spinal canal which has been compromised, one vertebra or several require trimming. If a large amount of bone has been extracted, the area may become too unstable. The spine may require stabilization by spinal fusion.
As scary as it may sound to have the top of your vertebral bones removed, understand that the spinal cord won’t be as exposed as you might think. The spinal cord is enclosed by bones on either side and it’s also encased by muscles and connective tissue. Patients with a laminectomy can usually resume normal activity with no problems after a period of healing.