Laminotomy refers to the removal of a small part of a bony area of the spine called the lamina. The lamina is the back part of each vertebra and forms the back wall of the spinal canal. The spinal cord runs through the spinal canal in the centre of the vertebrae. Certain conditions of the spine can compress the spinal nerve roots and cause back pain. A laminotomy can relieve pressure on spinal nerves.
The term laminotomy is often used interchangeably with laminectomy. However, in a laminotomy only a small part of the lamina is removed, while in a laminectomy most of the lamina is removed.