Orthopedist Questions Orthopaedic Surgeon

Does a laminectomy weaken the spine?

I am a 44 year old male. I want to know if a laminectomy weakens the spine?

2 Answers

When you have a laminectomy a portion of the bone called the lamina has to be removed along with the ligamentum flavum to get at the herniated disc. Although this theoretically causes some weakness at the surgical site as long as the facet joints are not violated the spine does not become substantially weaker.
During a laminectomy we are increasing the space for nerves by removing a part of the spine called a lamina.

During a laminectomy we take care not to damage the facet joints. The facet joints are on each side of the spine and they play a very important role in keeping our spines stable. As surgeons we also do our best to preserve muscles and ligaments that support the spine.

Today, laminectomies can be performed with less invasive methods - this helps minimize the risk of instability (slips in the spine).

When the facet joints are damaged or wear out there is a greater chance of causing the spine to weaken and become unstable overtime...this can result in back pain, leg pain, and/or weakness