Surgical procedure
Lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure most commonly performed to treat leg pain associated with herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and other related conditions. Stenosis occurs as people age and spinal ligaments thicken and stiffen, discs bulge, bones and joints expand, and bone spurs or osteophytes form. Spondylolisthesis (one vertebra slipping over another) can also cause compression.

Osteophytes are bone lumps (bone spurs) that grow on the bones of the spine or around the joints.

They often form next to joints affected by osteoarthritis, a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff.

Osteophytes can grow from any bone, but are most commonly found in:

• neck

• shoulder

• knee

• lower back

• toes or big toe

• foot or heel

The factors that lead to their formation in the body are: age, presence of osteoarthritis, trauma (such as whiplash to the neck), poor posture, immobility, overload and wear of joints and genetic predisposition.

The symptoms through which they manifest are: compression of a nerve, limitation of joint mobility and obstruction of tissues and organs. They are of significant clinical importance and can be a source of pain, loss of function and subsequent permanent disability.

The goal of a laminectomy is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve by widening the spinal canal. This is done by removing or trimming the lamina (cover) of the vertebrae to create more space for the nerves. The surgeon may perform a laminectomy with or without fusing vertebrae or removing part of a disc. Various devices (such as screws or rods) can be used to improve the ability to obtain solid fusion and support unstable areas of the spine.

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