JUNE 2016 | The Surgical Technologist | 259 Endoscopic Lumbar Laminotomy L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S s Recall the anatomy of the spine s Compare the methods of an endoscopic laminotomy verses a standard spinal fusion s Review the techniques used in an endoscopic lumbar laminotomy s Examine the role of a surgical technologist during this type of procedure s List the potential complications related to this surgery A lthough spinal stenosis is most common in men and women older than 50 years old, those who were born with a narrow spinal canal or who injure their spines may also get spinal stenosis. Other factors that may lead to spinal stenosis include osteo- arthritis, tumors and calcium deposits on the ligaments that run along the spine. The level of a patient’s pain, where it radiates in the legs and an MRI will help decide if the patient is a good candidate for surgery. The most common levels of stenosis are L3-S1. E N D O S C O P I C L A M I N O T O M Y V E R S E S S P I N A L F U S I O N With standard spinal fusions, the patient may go home with a 6-inch incision, if not larger. Their back is cut open, and the muscle, liga- ments, and tissue are moved out of the way. The laminotomy is per- formed, and the rods and screws are inserted for stability. Spinal Amanda Dowell , cst An endoscopic lumbar laminotomy is the removal of portions of the bony bridge and/or spinal joints that are pressing on one’s nerves. This pres- sure, known as stenosis, means Greek for “choking.” In essence, the lam- ina is choking the cord nerve roots and cauda equina. With pressure being placed on the nerves, the patient can feel pain, numbness and cramping in the legs. As patients age, they may see changes to their spine, which can lead to degeneration of the vertebrae, discs, muscles and ligaments that make up the spinal column. All these changes can lead to spinal stenosis.