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When is a laminectomy performed?


This is the most common procedure performed for spinal stenosis. It is performed under general anaesthetic. The surgeon will make an incision in the middle of your back and use special instruments to remove the area of overgrown ligament and bone. It usually takes around one to two hours to complete. The operation is well studied and improves symptoms in around 80% of patients. There are small risks associated with the procedure. The risk of infection or spinal fluid leakage is around 1%. Major complications such as paralysis occur much less frequently in the order of between one in 1000 and one in 10,000 procedures. There is usually some back discomfort after the procedure but we aim to have you up and walking on the first day post-operatively and would hope to have you home within 3-5 days.