WHEN MIGHT I NEED SPINAL DECOMPRESSION?
Spinal decompression is a surgical procedure that relieves pain due to a pinched spinal nerve. The doctors at Spinetech frequently perform decompression to treat spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal narrows, placing pressure on nearby nerves.
Spinal stenosis develops from numerous conditions, including:
Enlarged facet joints
Spondylolisthesis (slipped disc)
Degenerative disc disease
A spinal injury can also lead to spinal stenosis by damaging a disc or causing tissue swelling that affects the nerves.
WHAT SYMPTOMS CAN SPINAL DECOMPRESSION RELIEVE?
Compressed or pinched nerves often develop in your lower back, but they can also occur in your neck. No matter where the damaged nerve is located, a pinched nerve causes pain ranging from an ongoing ache to sudden, severe, shooting pain.
You can also develop pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness in the arms or legs, depending on the location of the pinched nerve. Lumbar spinal stenosis due to a herniated disc is the top cause of sciatica, which is known for the excruciating pain that radiates down your legs.
Your doctor at Spinetech may recommend spinal decompression when your symptoms don’t improve with conservative treatment such as physical therapy, you find it difficult to stand or walk, or your chronic pain affects your quality of life.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT SPINAL DECOMPRESSION PROCEDURES?
The team at Spinetech specializes in several surgical techniques to decompress the spine and create more space for spinal nerves:
Laminectomy to remove the entire bone forming the back of the spinal canal (the lamina), as well as part of the facet joints and ligaments if needed
Laminotomy to remove part of the lamina and ligaments
Discectomy to remove part or all of a damaged or herniated disc
Foraminotomy to remove bone around the opening (foramen) that lets nerves leave the spine
Depending on the amount of bone or disc that’s removed during your decompression procedure, your doctor may also perform a spinal fusion to strengthen and stabilize the vertebrae. During a bone fusion, graft material is inserted where the disc was removed. The material encourages the adjoining vertebrae to grow new bone that fuses the two together into one bone.
When you have ongoing back or neck pain, the team at Spinetech can help. Call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.