Hemilaminectomy: Relief from Nerve Compression

A hemilaminectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used to relieve nerve compression in the spine. If you have undergone physical therapy or other conservative back pain treatments with little to no success, you may be a candidate for hemilaminectomy. Check out the information below to find out more about this procedure.

What is a hemilaminectomy?

A hemilaminectomy is a minimally invasive procedure carried out to remove a single lamina from the spine.

What is a lamina and where is it located?

Lamina are located along the back of the spine, on both sides of each vertebra. The lamina connect the portions of the vertebra called the transverse process and the spinous process.

Why is removal of lamina required?

A lamina may need to be removed if it is compressing a nerve root in the spine. Only one lamina is removed during this particular procedure to preserve spinal stability.

What are the symptoms of nerve root compression?

Patients with nerve root compression (also known as pinched nerves) in the spine typically experience chronic back pain and limited motor function. Back pain may be characterized by:

  • A throbbing, burning, or shooting sensation
  • Increased pain when sitting
  • Difficulty carrying out everyday tasks


How complex is the procedure?

This procedure is much simpler than a laminectomy, which involves the removal of both lamina on vertebra. A hemilaminectomy can usually be performed as a minimally invasive procedure, requiring an incision of no more than 3 inches. Using the AccuCision® method, doctors can make an incision of no more than 5mm and remove the lamina with a 2mm diameter instrument.

Are there alternatives to the hemilaminectomy procedure?

A hemilaminectomy should only be used in the event that conservative treatment methods for nerve compression are unsuccessful. Spinal nerve compression treatments include:


How can I learn more about the hemilaminectomy procedure?

You can learn more about hemilaminectomy by checking out this page or by speaking with a spine specialist. Renova’s fellowship-trained spine specialists can help you discover the best treatment for your chronic back pain.