Hemilaminectomy is designed to relieve compression of the spinal cord and is most commonly indicated in the treatment of intervertebral disk extrusion, protrusion, and masses that develop extradurally and ventrally in the thoracolumbar spine. Many of the potential complications such as decubital ulcers and urine scald are likely a result of spinal trauma rather than a specific complication of the surgery. However, surgical exacerbation of neurologic status and absence of postoperative improvement are arguably the most significant complications associated with hemilaminectomy, resulting from iatrogenic trauma, myelomalacia, hematoma formation, and residual disk compression. Formation of a laminectomy membrane has been speculated as a cause of recurrent clinical signs but has not been confirmed after hemilaminectomies. Dachshunds and dogs with preoperative evidence of mineralization of intervertebral disks seemed predisposed to recurrence. Fenestration may be of use to prevent recurrence in high-risk dogs.
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- Hematoma formation
- Iatrogenic trauma
- Intervertebral disk extrusion
- Residual disk compression
- Thoracolumbar spine