hemilaminectomy bone removal


Neuro Corner Answers

Dr. Andrew Isaacs
DVM Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)
Dogwood Veterinary Referral Center

Primary interests include intervertebral disc disease, seizure management, luxations/fractures of the spine, and surgery for brain tumors



My dachshund had a herniated disc and had surgery today. The bone pieces were removed….is something put in it’s place? I won’t see the surgeon for a few days and wondered and can’t find the answer online.


Lisa, the typical surgical procedure to address herniated intervertebral disk material in the lower back is called a hemilaminectomy.  In order to access the herniated intervertebral disk material compressing the spinal cord a small window is created in the bone (laminectomy) on the side (right or left, hemi) with the greatest degree of compression.

The bone is not replaced, but after the herniated intervertebral disk material is removed a barrier (gelfoam or fat graft) is placed in the bony defect.  This serves as a protective barrier between the spinal cord and the surrounding muscle. 


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