Laminectomy is a type of surgery in which a surgeon removes part or the entire vertebral bone (lamina) to relieve compression of the spinal cord or the nerve roots that may be caused by injury, herniated disk, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal), or tumors.
In some cases, laminectomy may be necessary as part of surgery to treat a herniated spinal disk. The minimal form of the procedure requires only small skin incisions, the back muscles are pushed aside rather than cut, and the parts of the vertebra adjacent to the lamina are left intact. Recovery from the minimal procedure can occur within a few days. A laminectomy is considered only after medical treatments have proven to be ineffective.