A laminectomy is a surgical procedure that relieves pressure on the spinal nerves by removing a portion of the bony arch, or lamina, on the dorsal (back) surface of a vertebra. As people age, their intervertebral disks begin to lose moisture and break down, which reduces the size of the foramina (space between the vertebrae). In addition, bone spurs may form inside the vertebrae and cause the spinal canal itself to become narrower. Either of these processes can compress the spinal nerves, leading to pain, tingling sensations, or weakness in the lower back and legs. A lumbar laminectomy relieves pressure on the spinal nerves by removing the disk, piece of bone, tumor, or other structure that is causing the compression. Depending on your health and the extent of the surgery, it may take several months or more before you are able to return to your normal daily activities.