Spinal stenosis operation overview

The purpose of a spinal stenosis operation is to create space in a narrowing spinal canal in order to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve root in the canal. Many people develop spinal stenosis later in life due to the degenerative nature of the condition. Spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal, is often caused by conditions such as a bulging disc, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease or osteoporosis. These conditions cause discs or other tissue to extrude into the spinal canal, crowding nerves and causing irritation.

In some cases, the narrowing of the spinal canal caused by other spine conditions can trap a nerve root in the canal, which can result in pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. Many times, these symptoms can be treated through conservative therapies, specifically physical therapy and lifestyle changes. However, if these symptoms continue to worsen and become debilitating, you may want to consider a spinal stenosis operation, such as the traditional and minimally invasive options listed in the following article.

Traditional options for a spinal stenosis operation

Because spinal stenosis is a common spine condition, there are several types of surgical options used to treat the condition. You should take the time to research the procedures and typical results of each procedure before deciding on the type of surgery that is best for you. There are two main types of spinal stenosis surgery — traditional open back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Traditional open back surgery is an extremely invasive procedure that leaves patients at an increased risk of infection and complication. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove part of the bone, disc material or tissue that is pressing on the nerve roots. For this reason, these types of surgeries are often referred to as decompression surgeries.

Some examples are discectomies, where a portion of the damaged disc is removed, and laminectomies, where a portion of the thin, bony plate of the vertebral arch is removed. In order to reach the spine to perform the procedure, the surgeon will cut through and detach the muscles surrounding the spine, increasing a patient’s recovery time after surgery.

Another procedure that commonly accompanies a spinal stenosis operation is a traditional spinal fusion, also called a stabilization surgery. This is a procedure that uses rods or screws to hold vertebrae together for increased spinal support. While it can be effective, the invasive incision and muscle detachment to reach the spine can result in excessive scar tissue, which sometimes prevents the fusion from taking hold in the spine.

Minimally invasive options for a spinal stenosis operation

For patients seeking a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery,^ treatment options are available at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures can relieve pressure on the spinal nerves and increase spine stability with minimal recovery time, less risk of complication^ and small incisions. That is because our board-certified surgeons+ are able to access the spine without disrupting the surrounding muscles or soft tissue.

We offer minimally invasive decompression surgery, which includes the removal of a small portion of the spine that is compressing a nerve root in the spinal canal, and minimally invasive stabilization surgery, which removes an entire damaged disc or vertebra and replaces it with an artificial disc or bone graft. If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and an operation has been recommended, you may want to contact us to find out how we can help you find relief from neck and back pain.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.* We can help you recapture your quality of life from your spinal stenosis condition.