The goal of spinal canal stenosis surgery is to increase room within the spinal canal thereby removing 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 can be caused by a variety of degenerative spine conditions, such as disc herniation, severely enlarged facet joints or ligaments, the development of bone spurs, tumors, cysts, abscess, etc. Surgery may be necessary when more-conservative treatments prove ineffective.
Spinal stenosis is most frequently experienced in the lumbar and cervical spine segments in the lower back and neck, 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 reason 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 constricts the spinal canal
Treatments: conservative and surgical
The decision to undergo spinal canal stenosis surgery is typically made after more-conservative, noninvasive treatments prove ineffective. In most cases, spine specialists first attempt to treat the symptoms of stenosis with anti-inflammatory medications, exercises and heat therapy. Stenosis is usually the result of years of wear and tear. Conservative treatments often do not provide the permanent relief the patient desires because the cause of the symptoms remains. Spinal canal stenosis surgery allows the orthopedist to widen the spinal canal, thereby removing the source of stenosis.
At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in the field of endoscopic spine surgery. We are able to use safe and effective, minimally invasive procedures to treat spinal stenosis. Unlike open spinal canal stenosis surgery, our procedures are completed on an outpatient basis. Laser Spine Institute’s technique avoids the lengthy recovery and rehabilitation periods required by traditional open spine surgery. To learn about how one of our procedures may help you, contact Laser Spine institute today.