Spinal Stenosis Surgery

Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the cavity that houses the spinal canal, either through disease or because of wear and tear conditions such as a disk hernia ion. Typically, the first course of treatment for the condition of spinal stenosis are conservative therapies that aim to reduce inflammation the area and to develop some of the muscles that protect the spinal chord. Conservative treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis and cervical spinal stenosis include NSAIDS, analgesics, injections, physiotherapy, activity restriction, and supportive devices (bracing) . These conservative devices are aim to minimize the pain associated with the condition, and basically to minimize the symptoms. Only when these conservative treatments have failed should other invasive procedures be considered. Patients may consult with their doctor to consider surgical intervention when treatments such as physical therapy just haven't produced a significant reduction of back pain symptoms. Surgery may be an option for the following patients.
  • Leg weakness or leg pain is bad enough to hinder someone's everyday activities and affect the quality of life.
  • The patient is determined healthy enough by the physician to respond well to the procedure.
  • Physical therapy and medications do not provide enough back pain relief.
  • The person has reduced mobility standing and walking.
  • There in numbness and weakness in the legs (lumbar spinal stenosis) or arms (cervical spinal stenosis).

Spinal stenosis surgery procedures include: Endoscopic spine surgery, Spinal Fusion, Foraminotomy, Laminotomy, and Laminectomy.

Endoscopic spine surgery - Endoscopic spine surgery is considered the most minimally invasive of the surgical techniques because of the small incision made, minimal scarring, and the shorter recovery times. With this procedure, a surgeon makes uses an endoscope to see into the spinal canal where they remove herniated positions of discs and damaged spinal nerve roots. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, and allows the patient to leave the same day.

Laminectomy - Decompressive Laminectomy is the most common type of procedure done to treat spinal stenosis. The goal of the surgery is to open up space for the spinal chord and nerve roots to pass freely. Decompressive laminectomy is also performed to treat herniated discs. The lamina are two broad plates that make up the vertebral arch. During the laminectomy procedure, parts of the lamina or vertebral bone are removed to free up more space for the spinal chord and nerve roots to pass, uncompressed.

Foraminotomy - When a patient suffers from a thickening of the vertebral bone that surrounds the foramen, the spinal chord or other nerve roots may become compressed. A foraminotomy is a surgical procedure done to increase the size of the intervertebral foramen.

Spinal Fusion - In a normal healthy spine, two vertebrae are separated from one another by intervertebral discs. Either though injury or wear and tear condition, an intervertebral disc may degenerate to the point where nerve roots leaving the spinal chord become compressed or the vertebral bones may even rub up against one another. Chronic rubbing of these bones may eventually cause severe pain and disability. To correct the problem, the damaged disks may be removed and two or more vertebral bones may be permanently fused together with rods and screws.