Traditional open back surgery for spinal stenosis treatment

Spinal stenosis describes the narrowing of the spinal canal and other nerve pathways in the spinal column. The spinal canal protects the spinal cord as it travels from the brain and branches out to the body through small openings called foramina. When the spinal canal narrows, it can cause painful nerve compression.

Common symptoms of spinal stenosis include chronic pain in the neck or lower back as well as radiating symptoms like tingling or numbness. If left untreated, spinal stenosis can worsen and prevent you from doing your daily activities, such as standing for lengths of time, walking, and/or bending.

If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and you have not found any relief from conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy or chiropractic care, surgical treatment to help relieve your chronic pain can become a serious consideration.

Traditional open back surgery for spinal stenosis

When most people consider surgery for spinal stenosis, they think about traditional open back surgery. Open back surgery is typically performed in the hospital and requires several days of postoperative hospitalization for recovery. The total recovery time is usually six months to a year.

During open back surgery or traditional back surgery, a long incision is made and cut 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. If necessary, an implant will be inserted to stabilize the spine if a significant amount of bone matter, disc material or other tissue was removed. This is considered a fusion surgery.

Minimally invasive alternatives

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery with our minimally invasive spine surgery.^ We perform two main types of procedures: minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgeries

Both surgeries are performed through a small incision. Because our surgeons take a muscle-sparing approach, we’re able to offer a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.^ A few of our most common minimally invasive surgeries for spinal stenosis include:

Consult your doctor to determine the cause of your spinal stenosis and the best conservative treatment options available for your condition. However, if weeks or months of conservative nonsurgical treatments have been unable to provide you with pain relief, contact Laser Spine Institute today.

Ask for your free MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

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