Laminectomy - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claims


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A laminectomy is a particular type of surgery on the back that relieves compression on the spinal cord. The procedure takes off the part of the bone that forms the vertebral arch in each vertebra. This piece of bone is called the lamina. Bone spurs on the lamina can be removed in the same procedure. The structures in the lamina can enlarge or form spurs, putting pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord.

A laminectomy is performed for the following reasons:

  • Numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Moderate to severe back pain
  • Problems walking
  • Difficulty in controlling bladder or bowel function

If the symptoms interfere with daily living, then a laminectomy is warranted. Invasive measures have to have been tried and failed. Types of laminectomy include the following:

  • Cervical laminectomy
  • Lumbar laminectomy
  • Decompressive laminectomy

The main reason that a laminectomy is done is to relieve the major effects of having spinal stenosis. The spinal cord becomes pressed upon by the narrowing of the spinal canal. This pressure is relieved by having a laminectomy. Spinal cord compression can be due to a number of factors:

  • Shrinkage of the discs with age, while at the same time the bones and ligaments swell
  • Arthritis of the spine
  • Paget's disease of bone
  • Congenital birth defects
  • Dwarfism
  • Spinal tumors
  • History of tumors of the spine
  • Herniated disc

A laminectomy is done under general or spinal anaesthesia, depending on its location. Spinal anaesthesia can't be used if the level of the procedure is much above the lumbar spine. There will be a small incision made in the neck or back and the muscles and ligaments will be moved to one side to see the lamina bones in the spine. These bones will be removed, depending on where the blockage is to the spinal canal. Disc fragments can be removed and then the incision is closed and dressed.

A spinal fusion can be done at the same time in order to stabilize the spine. A foraminotomy should be done if the outlet to the spinal nerves is narrowed.

There are multiple risks of doing a laminectomy. These include the following:

  • Unsuccessful results
  • Damage to a spinal nerve
  • Infection at the surgical site
  • Infection in the bone
  • Return of back pain
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Breathing problems
  • Stroke
  • Medication reaction

You will be ambulatory shorty after your spinal surgery and will stay in the hospital for one to three days. While you are recovering, there should be the following rules:

  • You should avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity until you are fully recovered
  • You should climb stairs with care
  • You should gradually increase your activities, including your ability to walk
  • Go to all your scheduled appointments
  • Don't scrub over the incision site while in the shower
  • Don't apply lotions or creams on the incision site
  • Don't go in a hot tub or bathtub until the incision has healed. You can get an infection if you do so.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about which instructions you need to care for your wound
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you get chest pain, difficulty breathing, fever greater than one hundred, problems urinating or loss of bowel and bladder function.

The long term outlook of a laminectomy depends on the nature of your blockage and previous damage to the spinal cord before surgery. It also depends on your regular state of health and ability to exercise after the surgery. The laminectomy will usually take care of many of the symptoms of spinal stenosis. It cannot, however, prevent many of the problems you might have in the future and it might not completely relieve your pain. If you have a spinal fusion, there is an increased likelihood of spinal trouble in the future.

Laminectomy Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our Laminectomy Medical Negligence Solicitors operate using the no win no fee** scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here