Open back surgery for spinal stenosis might be recommended for patients suffering from severe spinal stenosis who have tried conservative treatments with no success. The purpose of spinal stenosis surgery is to remove any objects like bone, tissue, or disc materials that may be pressing against the nerves or spinal cord. This type of procedure is called a decompression, and the technique is employed in several surgeries that target specific areas of the spinal column.
During open back surgery or traditional back surgery, the patient is sedated using general anesthesia and a long incision (usually 5 to 6 inches) is made through the muscles and soft tissues to access the affected part of the spine. The surgeon then removes any bone matter or tissue causing nerve or spinal cord pressure.
Depending on the amount of bone removed during the decompression, stabilization surgery may be required to restore the structural integrity of the spine. Stabilization surgery or “spinal fusion” uses bone grafts or hardware such as wire, rods and screws to hold two or more vertebrae together to force the growth of new bone between them.
Open back surgery often requires a lengthy post-operative hospital stay, and the patient may require pain medication for several weeks. The incisions can take up to two weeks to heal, and full recovery for the entire process can take up to a year.
An alternative to open back surgery for spinal stenosis is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure, like those offered at Laser Spine Institute (LSI). Our procedures use state-of-the-art technology to treat a wide range of back problems but with drastically reduced recovery time and fewer side effects than traditional back surgery. If you’re tired of living with spinal stenosis symptoms, contact LSI today and let us review your MRI or CT scan for free.