The effect of bilateral laminotomy versus laminectomy on the motion and stiffness of the human lumbar spine: a biomechanical comparison.

Review of Lee MJ et al.: The effect of bilateral laminectomy versus laminectomy on the motion and stiffness of the human lumbar spine: a biomechanical comparison, Spine 35(19):1789-1793, 2010.


This study is a comparison of the effects on the spine of two techniques of lumbar laminectomy. Lumbar laminectomy is done to treat pinched nerves and spinal stenosis. Symptoms include back pain, leg pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, balance trouble, sciatica, and trouble with walking and standing.

The two surgical techniques were open lumbar laminectomy and bilateral laminotomy. Bilateral laminotomy includes the technique of minimally invasive laminectomy, which preserves tissue which is destroyed in open surgery. These tissues include the posterior osteo-ligamentous complex, which is the lumbar spinous process and the interspinous ligaments. The postulate in the study was the preserving these structures would be helpful in preserving stability of the spine, avoiding major complications associated with open laminectomy.

Careful evaluation of the lumbar spine was performed after the surgical procedures. It was found that patient who had open lumbar laminectomy had significantly increased spinal instability as compared to minimally invasive bilateral laminotomies. This was due to preservation of spinal tissues associated with minimally invasive spinal surgery.

This study is important as it provides further proof of the superiority of minimally invasive spinal surgery compared to open lumbar spinal surgery. The study proves that minimally invasive surgery is less destructive to spinal tissue. This results in less adverse effects, such as spinal instability, than open lumbar spinal surgery. At the Texas Spine and Neurosurgery Center, we specialize in minimally invasive lumbar spinal surgery. This allows us to provide the latest and best procedures to our patients. We perform more minimally invasive spine surgeries than any other practice in the entire region. If you are seeking a surgeon who is an expert in minimally invasive spinal surgery, call 281-313-0031 now and make an appointment with one of our surgeons.



By Rajesh K. Bindal, M.D.