How Much Does a Spinal Laminectomy Cost?

What is a Spinal Laminectomy?

How much does a spinal laminectomy cost? Before we tackle that question, we should first explain what laminectomy surgery is and how the procedure is performed. During a laminectomy procedure the surgeon will remove a portion of the lamina (a bony arch that spans the vertebrae) to give the vertebral disc more room. A laminectomy can be performed as well to allow the surgeon to perform a discectomy procedure. If a laminectomy is being performed in the lower back it is known as a lumbar laminectomy or an open decompression.

Spinal Laminectomy Procedure

There are multiple variations of a laminectomy surgery, some are quite invasive while others require much smaller incisions and are deemed as minimally invasive. An open laminectomy will require a large incision to gain access to the lamina. During an open laminectomy the muscles and soft tissue around the lamina is either cut or torn to gain access. A minimally invasive laminectomy, or laminotomy requires a much smaller incision, with the muscles and soft tissue only needing to be pushed or moved aside.

What Does a Spinal Laminectomy Achieve

When a laminectomy is performed in the lumbar area of the back it can alleviate the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a back condition that compresses the spinal nerves in the spinal canal. It is usually caused by wear and tear on the spine and is either age related or developed over time from repeated stress injuries that can cause a spinal disc to weaken.

Age related degeneration of the spine may also cause bone spurs (ostephytes) to develop. A laminectomy can be performed to remove these spurs along with the lamina, relieving pressure placed on the spinal nerves. Laminectomy surgery enlarges the spinal canal so the spinal nerves have more room and are no longer compressed.

Laminectomy Cost

Cost of a laminectomy surgery depends on the type of laminectomy performed. A minimally invasive laminotomy will require much less time spent in the hospital, and may even be performed by the surgeon at a specialized spine center.

By removing the cost of the hospital operating room and the overnight stay a patient could expect significant saving (tens of thousands of dollars). Minimally invasive surgery will often only require a local anesthetic instead of general anesthesia. Not only does this save the patient more money but it can also alleviate some of the stress the patient may feel, let’s face it, not many people like the feeling of being put under to have surgery.

A minimally invasive laminectomy or laminotomy, starts at around $15,000 USD. It is important to understand that price is not everything in this situation. It would be better to spend a few extra dollars to be certain that you are going into a surgical procedure with the expertise needed to get favourable results.

Doing a little bit of research on the surgeon you are considering will go a long way. Knowing the training and experience of your surgeon is crucial. Try to find patients that have seen this surgeon in the past and ask them what their experience was like. Did they heal well, how was the staffs bedside manner, did they have problems after the surgery with follow-up appointments. These are all important questions that you should find answers to.