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Spine Treatments

Minimally Invasive Laminectomy

Minimally invasive laminectomy is a surgical procedure used to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, primarily caused by spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. It is favored for its benefits, including minimal surgical trauma, less pain, reduced recovery time, and enhanced surgical outcomes. Minimally invasive spinal surgeries aim to relieve symptoms of nerve compression with less disruption to the muscles and soft tissues than traditional open surgery.

Minimally invasive laminectomy is indicated for patients experiencing symptoms that significantly impair their quality of life and do not improve with conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or injections.

Common indications include:

  • Spinal stenosis is a common cause of nerve compression that can cause symptoms such as pain and discomfort in the lower back and legs, impaired walking ability, and functional disability.
  • Herniated spinal discs that press on nearby nerves.
  • Spinal osteoarthritis causes bone spurs that can compress spinal nerves.

Minimally invasive laminectomy is decompression surgery performed to relieve pressure on spinal nerves by removing a portion of the lamina, the vertebral bone covering the spinal cord. This enlargement of the spinal canal reduces pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

It is performed with the patient under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia. Dr. Ball performs the procedure using specialized instruments and techniques that allow him to access the spine through a small incision. A microscope or endoscope is used to visualize the portion of the lamina to be removed. The incision is closed cosmetically with absorbable sutures.

Minimally invasive laminectomy is often performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return home the same day. The minimally invasive approach promotes faster recovery, less postoperative pain, and a quicker return to normal activities compared to traditional open surgery.

Studies have shown that pain relief and functional improvement outcomes are comparable to open surgery, with the added benefits of reduced surgical risks and complications. Most patients can resume light activities within a few days and fully recover within a few weeks.

Minimally invasive laminectomy is a surgical option for treating certain conditions that cause spinal nerve or cauda equina compression, offering the potential benefits of reduced recovery time and fewer complications compared to traditional open surgery. Not every patient is a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery, and each surgery is customized for each patient. All patients receive a thorough evaluation to decide if minimally invasive surgery suits them. The decision to proceed with this type of surgery will be made collaboratively between the patient and Dr. Ball, considering all individual health factors and symptoms.

Contact Dr. Hieu Ball to schedule a consultation at his San Ramon. He offers a full range of treatments for neck pain. Dr. Ball offers state-of-the-art patient-centered care for patients with neck, mid-back, and low-back problems. He received his orthopedic and spine surgery residency and fellowship training at Harvard Medical School and UCLA-affiliated institutions. Education included training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ball is a double fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon. He received a pediatric spine fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and a second adult spine fellowship at UCLA. Dr. Ball offers minimally invasive spine care, and many procedures often may be performed on an outpatient basis in an ambulatory surgical center setting.


  • https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Minimally-Invasive-Spine-Surgery
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/minimally-invasive-spine-surgery/
At a Glance

Dr. Hieu Ball

  • Double fellowship-trained orthopedic
  • Orthopedic surgery residency at Harvard Medical School
  • Over 20 years of spine surgery experience
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