A laminectomy is designed to relieve compression of the spinal nerves. In this respect, it is similar to a Discectomy.

However, in this case, part of the vertebral lamina is removed (sometimes to gain access to a Bulging, or Herniated disc), hence the term laminectomy.

The red circle, on the diagram below, indicates the area of bone that is typically removed.

Laminectomy

A laminectomy is often used to combat spinal stenosis, a degenerative bone condition that causes the facet joints to increase in size (hence increasing the pressure on the nerve-roots).

Typically, the procedure involves the following steps: