Lumbar (lower back) spine disease is usually caused by herniated intervertebral discs, abnormal growth of bony processes on the vertebral bodies (osteophytes), which compress spinal nerves, trauma, and narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal column around the spinal cord.
Symptoms of lumbar spine problems include:
pain that extends (radiates) from the back to the buttocks or back of thigh (sciatica)
pain that interferes with daily activities
weakness of legs or feet
numbness of legs, feet, or toes
loss of bowel of bladder control
Laminectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the lamina, the back portion of the vertebral body that covers the spinal cord. Removal of this piece gives the spinal canal more room and relieves the pressure from the spinal cord and nerves. The hole through which the nerve passes can be enlarged to further relieve pressure.
Laminectomy is usually recommended for patients who have not received much relief from conservative treatments like medications or physical therapy or for patients who have severe symptoms from nerve compression. Patients usually require physical therapy to optimize spinal mobility after lumbar spine surgery. Results are variable depending on the disease treated.