Lower back pain from slipped discs, spinal stenosis, and other conditions can be difficult.
When you want to get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible, you might undergo a surgery called microlaminectomy. A microlaminectomy can relieve pain from bone spurs and spinal stenosis. It requires a moderate recovery period and possible rehab therapy.
You can decide if microlaminectomy is right for you by learning what it is and what you can expect during the recovery period.
What is Microlaminectomy?
Microlaminectomy is a minimally invasive surgery that addresses symptomatic and painful spinal stenosis. It specifically removes large and arthritic osteocytes, which are sometimes called bone spurs. The removal of the bone spur is crucial to relieving the pressure on the spinal nerves.
During microlaminectomy surgery, the surgeon uses a small hole through which he or she inserts the surgical instruments. This type of operation eliminates the need for larger incisions and more invasive surgery. It also has a faster recovery period and does less damage to the muscles and tissues in the back. Patients also experience less pain with this type of back surgery.
How is Microlaminectomy Performed?
Microlaminectomy may be minimally invasive. However, it is performed under general anesthesia and requires a one to two day hospital stay.
After you are asleep, the surgeon will make a small incision over the area of your back where the spinal stenosis is located. He or she will confirm the location and presence of the spinal stenosis with an x-ray that is performed prior to the surgery beginning.
Once the incision is made, the surgeon will use small arthoscopic instruments to locate and remove the bone spurs that are compressing the nerves in the back. Once the osteocytes are removed, the incision will be washed out thoroughly with sterile water and antibiotics. It will then be closed with sutures or staples.
Once the surgery is finished, you will be taken to a recovery room to wake up from general anesthesia. Your nurse will monitor you closely for signs of bleeding, pain, or allergic reactions to the medications you are given. Your vital statistics like your heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure will also be monitored. When you are stable, you will be taken to a hospital room to rest before you are discharged to go home.
After you are home following the procedure, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions for healing properly. You more than likely will be advised to avoid strenuous activities for one to two weeks after your surgery. You should rest and only walk sparingly during that time.
You should also take pain medications and antibiotics as they are prescribed to you. Your doctor may also advise you to go through rehabilitation therapy to improve your mobility as you heal. You can typically go back to your normal routine within four to six weeks after your surgery is completed.