Last Updated: 3/16/2023

Des Moines is home to many car accidents annually. Often, victims require surgery to recover from the injuries incurred from a car accident. Laminectomy surgery is common after certain types of trauma to the spine caused by car accidents. However, before making the decision to have laminectomy surgery, there are facts you should consider.

1. Laminectomy surgery is used to relieve the pain from one condition.

Mainly, there is one condition that laminectomy surgery is used to remedy. Spine Health reports that it is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed or choked and this can produce symptoms of sciatica -- tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the buttocks and legs -- especially with activity. Laminectomy surgery is commonly referred to as a lumbar decompression back surgery. Decompression surgery to the affected areas of the spine helps alleviate pain.

3. Laminectomy back surgery may not end your suffering.

One patient who shared her story with Spine Health reported problems after laminectomy back surgery. Even after the laminectomy, she did not see relief at seven weeks post operation. After an additional MRI, her doctor found fluid and nerve inflammation. She required additional surgery to block the nerve, which does not reduce fluid or inflammation – it simply stops the pain.

3. A laminectomy may require lengthy recovery.

Although John Hopkins Medicine states that a laminectomy takes just three hours to perform, laminectomy recovery is not so speedy. You may be sent home after three days, but it may take you weeks or even months to recover fully from a laminectomy. You may not be able to drive until your doctor tells you it is safe. Some laminectomies may result in unforeseen complications.

4. A laminectomy involves risks.

John Hopkins Medicine cites risks from a laminectomy procedure as:

  • bleeding;
  • infection;
  • blood clots in the legs or lungs;
  • spinal cord injury;
  • nerve or blood vessel injury;
  • no pain relief/increased pain; and
  • risks associated with the use of general anesthesia.

There are factors that can increase your risk for complications due to a laminectomy, like medical history. John Hopkins Medicine states that you should tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms after a laminectomy:

  • fever;
  • redness, swelling, bleeding or other incision-site drainage;
  • increased pain around the incision site;
  • numbness in your legs, back or buttocks; and
  • difficulty urinating or loss of control of your bladder or bowel.

5. A laminectomy can be costly.

Cost Helper estimates the cost of a laminectomy at $50,000 to $90,000. This amounts to much more than the average person can pay out of pocket. Especially if you require a laminectomy due to car accident injuries, it may be possible that your claim is denied. Remember that trusted legal counsel from the attorneys at Walker, Billingsley and Bair can change the outcome of your claim. For further research that we have completed and made available to you at no cost, check out our The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case.

Corey Walker
Connect with me
With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.