Glossary term:


The individual vertebrae that make up the spinal column are themselves composed of different parts, including the body, the pedicles, the transverse processes and the laminae. The laminae are flat plates of bone which, joined together by ligaments, form the back of the spinal canal. The term laminectomy refers to the removal of one or more of these laminae, so that the neurosurgeon can gain access to the spinal canal and its contents, i.e. the spinal cord or the nerves issuing from it.