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The bone that curves around and covers the spinal cord (lamina) is removed (laminectomy) and the tissue that is causing pressure on the nerve or spinal cord is removed. The hole through which the nerve passes can be enlarged to prevent further pressure on the nerve.
If an intervertebral disc herniation is present, the intervertebral disc is removed. Sometimes, a piece of bone (bone graft) or metal rods (such as Harrington rods) may be used to strengthen the area of surgery.
Review Date 12/6/2017
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.