Decompression surgery for a pinched nerve
Decompression surgery is performed to relieve severe pain from a compressed nerve in the neck that is separating from the spinal cord. A pinched nerve, also known as cervical radiculopathy, is typically caused by a herniated or bulging disc, facet cysts, bone spurs or thickened ligaments within the spine. Essentially, when a nerve is pinched or pressured, its ability to transmit sensory signals is inhibited. This can cause shooting pains, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness and burning sensations to radiate along an affected nerve’s path throughout the body.
The most common cause of neural pressure is spinal degeneration. As a highly complex structure composed of vertebrae, joints, intervertebral discs, the spinal cord, nerve roots, muscles and ligaments, the spine endures continual wear during daily activities. The cumulative effect of this ongoing pressure can sometimes result in degenerative spine disorders that cause the spinal components to gradually break down. For instance, a disc might be forced outside of its natural boundaries or rupture and the displaced disc material can create excess pressure on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Read the following article to determine if a minimally invasive spine surgery is the right treatment method for your pinched nerve.
Surgical intervention for severe pinched nerve pain
Usually performed as a last resort after nonsurgical treatments have been attempted, nerve decompression surgery can address painful pinched nerve symptoms by removing the source of neural compression. To accomplish this, the highly skilled board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute have perfected several minimally invasive techniques:
- Laminotomy. This technique surgically opens up the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root.
- Foraminotomy. The clearing of obstructed intervertebral foramina, which are openings between the spinal vertebrae through which nerve roots exit.
- Discectomy. A minimally invasive procedure designed to remove a portion of a bulging or herniated disc that is pressing on the nerve root.
- Facet thermal ablation. This technique involves the use of a laser to desensitize a painful nerve ending in an arthritic facet joint, which can be effective for relieving neck and back pain.
Traditional open spine procedures for a pinched nerve decompression are highly invasive and must be performed in a hospital setting. As such, patients must face all of the risks that typically accompany major surgery, as well as endure months of recovery. This is necessary to allow large incisions, disrupted muscles and surrounding tissue sufficient time to fully heal.
Pinched nerve relief with Laser Spine Institute
The minimally invasive spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery.^ Since 2005, we’ve helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain. To explore the possibility of undergoing our muscle-sparing procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.
Ask for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgeries.