Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
SHARE TEXT

Laminectomy and Laminotomy

Laminectomy and laminotomy are surgeries done to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and/or spinal nerve roots by removing all or part of the lamina. The lamina, the thin part of the bones that make up the spine (vertebrae), protects the spinal cord.

Age-related changes in the spine may narrow the opening through which the spinal cord runs (spinal canal), and the spinal cord and/or nerve roots may become squeezed. Laminotomy removes part of the lamina. Laminectomy removes all of the lamina on selected vertebrae. It also may remove thickened ligament tissue. The choice of procedure depends on where the spinal problem is and how bad it is. Less pressure on the nerve roots often can relieve leg or arm pain and can allow you to resume normal daily activities.

Last Revised: March 12, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.