The surgeon makes an incision in your back over the affected vertebrae and moves the muscles away from your spine as needed. Small instruments are used to remove the appropriate lamina. The size of the incision may vary depending on your condition and body size.
After surgery, you can expect your back to feel stiff and sore. You may have trouble sitting or standing in one position for very long and may need pain medicine in the weeks after your surgery. It may take 4 to 6 weeks to get back to doing simple activities, such as light housework.
Surgical treatment is indicated when lumbar spinal stenosis causes severe leg pain and constant or progressive neurologic signs, such as numbness and weakness. Several weeks or months of nonsurgical treatments are typically tried before considering surgery.
The surgery usually takes around two hours but can take longer if it is part of a more complex procedure or if many levels need to be addressed.