Spinal stenosis operation

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 jut 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; the result can be pain, numbing, tingling and other symptoms. 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.

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 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 the bone, disc material or tissue that is pressing on nerve roots. For this reason, these types of surgeries are often referred to as decompression surgeries. Some examples are discectomies, where the damaged disc or a portion of the disc is removed, and laminectomies, where 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 spine 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.

For patients seeking a safer and effective alternative, 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 infection and small incisions. That is because our surgeons are able to access the spine through a small incision 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 stenosis and a spinal stenosis 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.