This a very common operation and is performed on patients with spinal stenosis, spinal cord and exiting nerve root compression in the lumbar spine. The condition usually occurs in the elderly and results on a reduced capacity to walk distances, a forward stooped posture and variable amounts of pain in both the buttocks and legs.
A key-hole incision is made in the lower back and the surgeon removes a section of bone called the lamina from one or more vertebrae. This relives pressure on the nerve roots caused by narrowing of the spinal canal. Relief of leg pain is often immediate with patients requiring 3-5 days stay in hospital followed by post-operative physiotherapy.