Thoracic Laminectomy

Thoracic laminectomy is a procedure in which overgrown bone or ligament causing nerve compression is removed. Minimally invasive thoracic laminectomy procedure is performed using smaller incisions than traditional laminectomy surgery. Your spine consists of stacked bones known as vertebrae. These vertebral bones protect your spinal cord and allow for flexibility of your back.

Age related changes and medical conditions may cause wear and tear or aberrant positioning of your vertebra. This can affect the surrounding, muscles, ligaments and nerves, resulting in severe pain, discomfort or mobility issues.

Your doctor may use different approaches to reach and treat your spine, depending on what the cause of the problem is.

Indications of Thoracic Laminectomy

A thoracic laminectomy may be indicated for some of the conditions listed here:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Disc herniation
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Spinal infections
  • Tumours of the spinal cord
  • Spinal column fractures

Surgery may be useful in patients have who have responded poorly to conservative treatment such as, physical therapy and medications.

Thoracic Laminectomy Procedure

The surgery is performed by either an orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. The surgical approach and methodology used will be determined by surgeon by considering various factors. This types of surgery is performed after you are placed under general anaesthesia, so that you don’t experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure.

Typically a small incision is made to the middle of the back and the muscles are either lifted or moved using special tools to give your surgeon access to the problem area. A high-speed drill is then used to remove the excess bone. If the spinal ligament is excessively thick, it is lifted up and off the spinal cord to create space for the nerves. If required, special rods and screws may be placed to provide stability to the spine. Finally, the incision is closed and dressed to complete the surgery.

Postoperative Patient-Care

After your surgery, may feel slight pain and tenderness near the area of the incision, this usually dissipates within a few days. Your doctor may prescribe pain medications to help alleviate this pain. To determine the outcome of your surgical procedure, your doctor may order an X-ray. You may be advised to avoid certain types of movements or medications as they may interfere with your healing process.

Light activity such as walking may be advised and activity levels are gradually increased as you recover. You may be recommended nutritionally dense diets, especially foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to help with bone recovery.


You may feel an immediate relief from your original symptoms such as pain or discomfort after your surgery, or it will gradually subside over a span of a few weeks.


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