Lumbar laminectomy surgery is also known as the open decompression. The site of the surgery is at the lumbar area, or simply at the lower back of the patient. This surgery is done to relieve the pain felt at the patient’s back or legs.
It is through the spinal cord wherein the nerves send their impulses, but when the spinal cord gets eroded or there is degeneration that occurs in the area, spinal stenosis occurs. This is common in the elderly because as they get older, the opening in the spinal cord gets smaller. When there is spinal stenosis, the nerves that send impulses in the brain don’t have enough space or they will be compressed, thus there will be pain and weakness on the legs.
To remove the pain that comes along with the nerve compression, lumbar laminectomy surgery is performed. This is done by a specialist, usually a neurosurgeon. The patient will be under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia with a combination of sedatives.
During the surgery, the surgeon does several x-rays to make sure that the area to be opened is on the right site. A small incision is made along the lumbar area where the nerves are compressed. The surgeon will push aside the back muscles to make the vertebrae accessible. To relieve the narrowing of the spinal canal, the surgeon also removes the bone that blocks the way.
Postoperatively, the patient is instructed to lie on the back to make the healing faster. To rule out complications like nerve damages, the doctor will do some tests to check the function of the legs. Measurement of the vital signs is compulsory after the surgery.
It is the doctor’s responsibility to let the patient know about the side effects that may take place after the surgery. Lumbar laminectomy surgery poses side effects and every patient has the right to know these. To name a few, these are bleeding, infections and pneumonia.
The nerve damage that takes place after the surgery is the specific complication brought about by the operation. After the surgery, most of the pain felt by the patient is alleviated but there are those that are not. It is important to weigh the benefits of the surgery prior to undergoing this type of operation.
When experiencing lower back pain or weakness on the legs, it is important to consult the doctor to discover the underlying causes and for it to be given management to ease the pain and for the person to function well. Pain and weakness is often the culprit of making one unable to do well the activities of daily living. That is why regular check ups must be done to ensure the best health possible.
If the surgery is not successful and a person’s situation degrades they may eventually find themselves relying on the many different kinds of handicapped equipment available. Technology has advanced to the point that anyone who is disabled can pretty much live a normal life in most circumstances.
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