Microlaminectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat patients suffering from bone spurs compressing the spinal nerves, lumbar spinal stenosis, or herniated lumbar discs, which are sometimes referred to as slipped discs or ruptured discs. These conditions can be very painful and are usually caused by excessive heavy lifting, twisting, or a fall. Traditional surgery uses large incisions that cause trauma to the muscle and nerve tissue, often resulting in increased pain and a longer hospital stay. In contrast, microlaminectomy is a microscopic surgical approach that uses two-to-three centimeter-long incisions that do not damage muscle and other soft tissues.
The surgeon makes tiny incisions in the lower back directly over the problem discs. Special tools and a surgical microscope are used to allow the surgeon to visualize the area of the spine. The surgeon inserts retractors to move the discs back to healthy positions. After the retractors are in place, the nerves eventually return to their normal size and the pain is alleviated. Most patients return home one to two days after surgery. They typically can begin light work several weeks after the procedure and normal activities four to six weeks after the procedure.