Spinal stenosis — minimally invasive surgery to treat spinal stenosis

Most patients who have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis — the narrowing of the spinal canal — will find themselves considering a surgical treatment option to help alleviate the chronic back pain associated with spinal stenosis.

There are several different surgical options for spinal stenosis. The reason for this is spinal stenosis has many causes, ranging from the natural degeneration of the spine due to aging, to injury and herniated discs. Spinal stenosis could occur on its own with the natural aging process, or be escalated by a spine condition like bone spurs or spondylolisthesis. In order to properly treat your spinal stenosis, you must meet with your physician to review your MRI and determine the cause of your condition. That will determine the surgery treatment options available to you.

Minimally invasive decompression surgery for spinal stenosis

Mild to medium cases of spinal stenosis can be treated with a minimally invasive decompression surgery — an effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.

Spinal stenosis is a term used to describe the narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal hosts the spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as the spine itself. When the spinal canal narrows, all of these components become compressed against each other. During this process, a nerve root might be impacted, which causes both local and radiating pain. The purpose of our minimally invasive decompression surgery is to decompress the impacted nerve root and remove the originating cause of the spinal stenosis.

Two of the most frequently performed minimally invasive decompression surgeries for spinal stenosis are foraminotomy and laminotomy. During foraminotomy, the foramen, or the space in the vertebra where a nerve root exits the spinal canal, is enlarged to relieve pressure on the nerves. During a laminotomy, the lamina, a piece of bone covering the spinal cord, is partially removed to increase space in the spinal canal and take pressure off the spinal cord.

Both of these minimally invasive decompression procedures are performed as outpatient surgery in one of our state-of-the-art surgical centers across the country.

Minimally invasive stabilization surgery for spinal stenosis

If your spinal stenosis is more severe, your physician may recommend a minimally invasive stabilization surgery instead of or in conjunction with a minimally invasive decompression surgery. The difference between the minimally invasive stabilization surgery and the minimally invasive decompression surgery is the severity of the spine condition. For example, minimally invasive decompression surgery removes only a small portion of the diseased disc or vertebra that is impacting the nerve. However, minimally invasive stabilization surgery removes the entire diseased disc or vertebra, and then inserts an implant to stabilize the spine.

Our minimally invasive stabilization procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back fusion. We offer our patients shorter recovery time^ with a lower percentage of infection and complication than traditional open back fusion. Review our comparison chart to see the advantages of Laser Spine Institute:

  Our minimally
invasive procedures^
Other spine
surgery providers
Hospital stay Outpatient 2-5 days
Infection rate 0.49 percent Up to 19 percent
Muscle disruption Small incision, muscle sparing, muscles separated Muscles cut, torn

If you are interested in learning more about surgical treatment options for your spinal stenosis, consult your physician to diagnose the cause and severity of your condition. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and we are happy to answer any questions you have, including if you are wondering, ““Am I a candidate”:/learn_more/candidate/ for minimally invasive spine surgery?”

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