The goal of spinal canal stenosis surgery is to increase room within the spinal canal, thereby alleviating neural compression. Spinal stenosis is a condition wherein the spinal canal gradually narrows, eventually compressing the spinal cord or one of the nearby spinal nerves. This condition could be caused by a variety of degenerative anatomical abnormalities within the spine, such as disc herniation, severely enlarged facet joints or ligaments, the development of bone spurs, etc. Surgery may be necessary when more conservative treatments prove ineffective.
Spinal stenosis is most frequently experienced in the cervical and lumbar spine segments, the neck and lower back, respectively. These sections of the spine are extremely mobile and flexible and also support significant weight loads. Weight overload exaggerates wear and tear, and is one of the reasons neck and lower back pain is so common. Some types of spinal deterioration that lead to spinal stenosis include:
- Degenerative disc disease − the degeneration of intervertebral discs can lead to disc material extruding into the spinal canal
- Osteoarthritis – inflamed joint tissue can enlarge, constricting the spinal canal
- Osteophytes – the development of bone spurs often leads to nerve compression
- Injury – injured or swollen tissue also constricts the spinal canal
- Spondylolisthesis – the misalignment of a vertebra restricts spinal canal space
Treatments: conservative and surgical
The decision to undergo spinal canal stenosis surgery is typically made after more conservative, non-invasive treatments prove ineffective. In most cases, spine specialists first attempt to treat the symptoms of stenosis with anti-inflammatory medications, heat therapy and exercises. As stenosis is usually the result of years of wear and tear, conservative treatments often do not provide the permanent relief a patient desires because the cause of the symptoms remains. Spinal canal stenosis surgery allows an orthopedist to widen the spinal canal, thereby removing the source of stenosis.
Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our minimally invasive procedures are an effective alternative to open spine surgery for the treatment of spinal stenosis. Unlike traditional open spinal canal stenosis surgery, our procedures are conducted on an outpatient basis. The techniques used by Laser Spine Institute surgeons help patients avoid the lengthy recovery and rehabilitation periods required by traditional open spine surgery. To learn about how one of our procedures can help you, contact Laser Spine institute today.