The goal of a decompression procedure, whether conservative or surgical, is to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve in the spinal column. Spinal nerve compression can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the affected nerve, including neck and back pain, pain that radiates along the nerve, and muscle weakness. The good news is that in many cases, people suffering from a compressed nerve find relief from a course of doctor-recommended conservative treatment. Spine surgery, including decompression surgery, is usually viewed as a last resort to be considered if weeks or months of conservative treatment have been unable to offer relief.
Options for decompression therapy
In general, a person suffering from the effects of a pinched nerve have three types of treatment options, each with benefits and disadvantages:
- Nonsurgical conservative treatment. Nonsurgical decompression techniques can include manual adjustment, traction and therapeutic massage. Conservative treatment as a whole can focus on both pain management and helping the back or neck heal naturally and hopefully relieve nerve compression.
- Minimally invasive spine surgery. In the event that conservative treatments don’t provide sufficient pain relief, minimally invasive spine surgery is an alternative to highly invasive traditional open spine surgery. These decompression techniques can be performed on an outpatient basis with the use of muscle-sparing techniques. The minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute offers patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication compared to traditional procedures.^
- Traditional open spine surgery. This approach to open spine surgery can include procedures like a laminectomy, posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and posterolateral fusion. These procedures usually involve a large incision, muscle disruption, overnight hospitalization and a long, potentially difficult, recovery period.
Minimally invasive decompression procedures
If you suffer from a pinched nerve and are in the process of considering all of your decompression treatment options, the first step is to visit your doctor. He or she will complete a full medical review, often including diagnostic imagery to identify the exact cause, location and severity of your nerve compression. Once this information is in hand you can determine the treatment that’s right for your exact condition.
If you are exploring your surgical options, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive spine surgery, including minimally invasive decompression, is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures.^
To find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures, ask for your free MRI review* when speaking with a member of our team.