If your doctor has diagnosed you with spinal stenosis, you may be wondering if you’ll eventually need surgery for spinal narrowing. There are a variety of surgical procedures aimed at releasing neural compression caused by stenosis, though it is important to keep in mind that you should attempt a variety of conservative treatment methods before considering an operation. Talk to your doctor about designing a treatment plan that involves pain medication, low-impact exercise, periods of rest, hot and cold compresses, epidural steroid injections, or other options.
What Does Surgery Involve?
If weeks or months of conservative treatments have proven ineffective in treating your symptoms of spinal narrowing, your doctor may suggest that you consider any of the below surgeries:
- Discectomy and fusion – involves the removal of a damaged intervertebral disc that may be contributing to spinal narrowing and neural compression. This is followed by vertebral fusion, which involves a bone graft and stabilizing hardware.
- Corpectomy – involves the removal of an intervertebral disc, in addition to all or part of the vertebrae on either side of the disc. Spinal fusion usually follows a corpectomy.
- Laminectomy– involves the removal of all or a portion of the lamina, which is the bony plate attached to the pedicles, or the “arms” that surround the vertebral arch. Ideally, a laminectomy will widen the narrowed spinal canal, thereby decompressing nerves.
Minimally Invasive Treatment Alternatives
Open spine surgery for spinal narrowing is a highly invasive procedure. It involves hospitalization, general anesthesia, a large incision, an arduous rehabilitation, and a variety of other risks. If you feel that the drawbacks of this type of surgery are deterring you from achieving lasting pain relief from your spinal stenosis, contact the orthopedic experts at Laser Spine Institute. We specialize in a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that offer a welcome alternative to the risks and lengthy recuperation of an open spine surgery. Contact us to receive a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan, or to learn more about our state-of-the-art endoscopic techniques.