Sometimes referred to as the walls of the spinal canal, a lamina is a flat, short and strong bony structure attached to each of our spine’s vertebra. The vertebrae (which are the circular bones that surround and protect the spinal cord) have an anterior (front) part and a posterior (back) part. The anterior part has struts that support the lamina. The lamina creates an arch that forms a canal through which the spinal cord and nerves pass. This arch also contains short pieces of bone, or pedicles, that connect to the spinous process.
The lamina is the area most commonly affected by spinal stenosis, a condition which creates a narrowing of your spine in the neck and/or lower back. When the channels through which your spinal cord and nerve roots travel become narrower – often due to age-related degeneration – nerve tissue can be squeezed or compressed, causing pain and other spinal stenosis symptoms.
Spinal stenosis pain can radiate from your neck or back to your hips, legs and feet – or occasionally, to your shoulders, arms and hands. Some people also experience numbness, weakness or a tingling sensation in the affected areas. Sitting for periods of time, leaning backwards or getting out of bed can be especially uncomfortable.
One common open-back surgery used to treat spinal stenosis is a laminoplasty, during which surgeons cut into both sides of the lamina to create a doorway that opens up space in the spinal canal. This type of surgery is extremely invasive and includes a long hospital stay and a lengthy, painful recovery period.
Laser Spine Institute offers several outpatient, minimally invasive procedures that free trapped nerves from impingement – but our procedures do not involve hospitalization, a long recovery time or the other risks of open back surgery. With our minimally invasive approach, our patients are able to find relief from neck and back pain. Contact us today for a review of your MRI or CT scan, and to receive more information about our facility.