Spinal decompression is a surgical procedure that relieves the pressure on one or more pinched nerves in the spinal column. The laminae are small bony arches that form a roof over your spinal cord. They are two separate pieces that meet together with their tips forming the spinous process, the bones that you see and feel protruding from your back. The purpose of removing all or part of the lamina is to relieve pressure and increase the size of the spinal canal.
For a Laminectomy, the entire bony lamina is removed, as well as a portion of the facet joints and the thickened ligaments.
For a Laminotomy, a portion of the bony lamina is removed.
A Foraminotomy is performed to expand the openings for the nerve roots to exit the spinal cord. This procedure typically requires removing a large amount of bone and tissue.
A Discectomy procedure removes a portion of a disc to relieve pressure on the nerve roots.