A posterior lumbar laminectomy, which is also called a decompression, is done to treat pain caused by degenerative conditions in the lower back. Disc degeneration, bone spurs, and other conditions can cause narrowing and pressure on the spinal nerves (radiculopathy) exiting the spine. A laminectomy procedure removes part of the vertebral lamina to reduce the pressure.
An incision is made in the middle of the lower back. Surgical instruments are used to remove the spinous processes and lamina. Bone spurs or other sources of spinal nerve compression are also removed. The extra space provided alleviates pressure.
Patients are often discharged from the hospital after 1-2 days following a lumbar laminectomy. Healing is fairly rapid and back pain from the incision usually subsides within 1-2 weeks.