Laminotomy & Discectomy Performed in Houston, Cypress & Tomball, TX
Traditionally, a combined laminotomy and discectomy has been the most frequently utilized surgical approach for treating a herniated disc in the thoracic spine. This relatively common condition occurs when a tear develops in the firm outer border of a spinal disc in the upper back, allowing some of the disc’s gel-like inner material to escape. Because the space in the spinal canal is very limited in the thoracic region, displaced disc material can easily irritate or compress the spinal cord or a nerve root. In addition to upper back pain, a pinched nerve in the thoracic spine can cause other uncomfortable symptoms, some of which are potentially serious, such as muscle weakness, numbness, tingling sensations and increased reflexes in the lower extremities.
A herniated disc can result from sudden trauma, such as a bout of heavy lifting, or the gradual spinal degeneration that occurs along with the natural aging process. Although the former type of injury more frequently occurs in the lumbar spine, it sometimes occurs in the thoracic spine as well.
What does a laminotomy & discectomy involve?
The term “laminotomy” refers to the creation of an opening in the lamina, which is the bony arch that forms the “roof” over the spinal canal. When performing a laminotomy, a surgeon makes a small opening between the two vertebrae surrounding a ruptured disc. The goal is twofold: to provide the surgeon with a clear view into the spinal canal and to create additional space for the surgeon to work.
The term “discectomy” refers to the removal of a damaged disc. When performing a discectomy, a surgeon moves the nerve roots aside and removes the disc material that has seeped into the spinal canal. The goal is to decompress the affected spinal nerves.
Could you benefit from a laminotomy & discectomy?
If you’ve been diagnosed with a thoracic herniated disc, your best course of action is to discuss your treatment options with an experienced spine specialist. Request a consultation with R. Alexander Mohr, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who practices with Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Houston, Cypress and Tomball, TX. After evaluating your condition, Dr. Mohr can develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. He offers a full range of conservative and surgical treatment options for herniated discs, including laminotomy and discectomy.