When bony growths protrude out from the spinal canal, something that can occur in people with spinal arthritis, it can place pressure on the nerves of the spine. The pressure can cause back pain, tingling or numbness that radiates to the limbs. To alleviate the unpleasant symptoms, conservative approaches like medication therapy, physical therapy or pain-relieving injections are recommended first. When these methods fail to provide adequate symptom relief, a doctor may recommend a laminectomy or spinal decompression surgery. Laminectomy is performed under general anesthesia and involves a surgeon making an incision in the back to access the spine. Muscles are gently moved to the side so that the surgeon can locate the affected vertebra. In some cases, a surgeon will simply remove the bony protrusion, and in other cases, he or she may perform a combination of procedures also to correct any disc herniation that may be present. Once the procedure is complete, recovery takes a few weeks and may include physical therapy to improve strength, mobility, and flexibility in the spine. The expert team at Riverside University Physicians is skilled and experienced in performing laminectomy procedures using the latest methods including a minimally invasive approach for the appropriate candidates.

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