Surgical Decompression (Laminotomy Or Laminectomy)

California Neurosurgical Institute -  - Neurosurgery

California Neurosurgical Institute

Neurosurgery located in Valencia, CA, Encino, San Fernando Valley, CA & Bakersfield, CA

Surgical decompression is an effective treatment for relieving the pain of trapped nerves in your spine when other treatments aren’t helping. If you need surgical decompression, the expert physicians at California Neurosurgical Institute can help with their advanced skills in carrying out both laminectomies and laminotomies. The world-class skills of the board-certified neurosurgeons at California Neurosurgical Institute are available to you if you live in or near Bakersfield, Encino, or Valencia, California. Call your nearest office today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Surgical Decompression (Laminotomy or Laminectomy) Q & A

What is surgical decompression?

Surgical decompression is a treatment for painful back problems that are caused by compression of the nerves in your spinal canal. 

If there’s pressure on your spinal cord or one of the nerves exiting your spine, it can cause pain, as well as other symptoms, including:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Prickling
  • Electric shock type feelings

In many cases, conservative treatment approaches, including physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, resolve the symptoms of nerve compression. However, if these treatments aren’t helping you, then surgical decompression could be the answer.

How is surgical decompression carried out?

Laminae are areas of bone that protect the back of the spinal canal. Laminectomy and laminotomy are the two key ways to carry out surgical decompression:


Laminotomy involves the removal of part of a lamina from your spine.


Laminectomy involves the total removal of one or more laminae from your spine.

Both these procedures aim to create more room for the spinal cord and remove the source of pressure on your spinal nerves.

Compression of these nerves can come from the laminae, or your surgeon at California Neurosurgical Institute might need to take out all or part of a lamina to get better access to a herniated disc or other problem that’s causing nerve pressure.

What happens during a surgical decompression procedure?

Surgical decompression surgery can be done using open techniques or minimally invasive approaches. Wherever possible, the team at California Neurosurgical Institute uses minimally invasive procedures, which offer advantages over traditional open surgery that include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less tissue trauma
  • Lower chance of infection
  • Reduced pain
  • Less scarring
  • Reduced risk of complications
  • Quicker recovery times

The California Neurosurgical Institute team performs minimally invasive laminectomy (microlaminectomy) and minimally invasive laminotomy (microlaminotomy) on an outpatient basis. That means you don’t have to stay in hospital after your operation, making it far more convenient for you.

When your surgeon talks to you about why you need spinal decompression surgery, they also discuss whether you’re a suitable candidate for microlaminectomy or microlaminotomy.

Some patients might need additional procedures after their spinal decompression. For example, your surgeon might need to remove part or all of a herniated disc or bone spurs that are pressing on the nerves. You might also need fusion surgery as well to support the spine.

Foraminotomy is an alternative form of surgical decompression in which your surgeon gains access to the nerves through gaps in your spine called the foramen.  

If you have back pain and other sensory problems because of a compressed nerve in your spine, talk to the team at California Neurosurgical Institute about surgical decompression. Call today, or book your appointment using the online tool.


Read More About out CNI Programs:

SpinePainPeripheral Nerves