Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy: What You Need to Know About These Common Spine Surgeries

When physical therapy, injections, medication or other conservative treatments fail, surgery may be necessary to help relieve your back pain and restore mobility. Dr. Ripul Panchal, at American Neurospine Institute in Plano and Frisco, Texas, is a widely respected spine expert and board-certified neurosurgeon who is passionate about restoring your spinal health and returning you to a pain-free, active life whenever possible.

Dr. Panchal is well known for his expertise in minimally invasive procedures, motion preservation, and computer-assisted surgeries. Whether you’ve been advised to have a laminectomy, discectomy, or both, Dr. Panchal believes the minimally invasive approach to spinal surgery often offers the best treatment outcomes for his patients.

The basics of minimally invasive spine surgery

The difference between minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) and traditional begins with the first incision. Traditional or open spine surgery requires a long incision that must move down through skin, muscle, and other tissue structures to expose your spine.

MISS requires small incisions that spare healthy tissue structures and introduce less painful trauma to the surgical site. Surgical instruments and a tiny high-definition camera are inserted through these small incisions. The camera provides a real-time view of the targeted region. Dr. Panchal monitors the images carefully as he performs the planned surgical repair/restoration of the problematic area.

The benefits of MISS include:

  • Less risk of bleeding and infection at the operative site
  • Faster healing
  • Quicker return to normal activities
  • Decreased postoperative pain

The laminectomy

Used often to relieve spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal, a laminectomy can help relieve symptoms caused by nerve root compression. As your spinal canal narrows, the nerves traveling through it can become inflamed and irritated. This often results in pain, tingling, and numbness that travels along the nerve’s distribution path. Depending on which nerve is affected, you may feel symptoms in your arms, shoulders, neck, or legs.

During a laminectomy, Dr. Panchal removes the lamina, which is a bony structure that’s part of the spinal vertebrae. The lamina arch slightly over the back of each vertebra and help protect the spinal canal. Removing the lamina at the targeted site relieves compression on the irritated nerve.

Dr. Panchal may also perform a laminectomy to access a damaged/herniated disc that requires repair or replacement.


Herniated discs are one of the leading causes of back pain and reduced range of motion. Damaged discs can greatly limit your activity. Microdiscectomy is the minimally invasive solution for repairing/removing a damaged or herniated disc in your spine.

Once they’ve made a small incision and removed the damaged disc, many surgeons choose to fuse the spine at that point. Because Dr. Panchal is committed to preserving spine health and mobility, he typically recommends replacing the damaged disc with a tiny prosthesis, or manmade “disc,” that restores spinal stability and motion as it eliminates pain.

Because it’s minimally invasive, a microdiscectomy generally leads to faster healing time than a traditional discectomy and a quicker return to normal activities.

For more details regarding laminectomy and microdiscectomy or other services offered at American Neurospine Institute, schedule a visit with Dr. Panchal today. Call the office or request an appointment online. Note that Dr. Panchal is also available through referrals from other providers.

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