As people age, our bodies react to the stress of our lives in a number of different ways. In the case of our spine, it is common for deposits and years of wear and tear to cause the spinal canal to become narrow and begin pressing on the spinal cord. When this narrowing does occur, it is usually not reversible and can quickly lead to chronic pain, motion problems, and other neurological issues.
Spinal Stenosis: Surgery Options And More
Spinal stenosis is not usually a condition which can resolve itself over time. In fact, the narrowness in the spinal canal tends to only grow more severe if left untreated. Prolonged pressure can lead to permanent neurological harm, so we usually like to provide prompt treatment for spinal stenosis. Surgery is the best option to address the problem. We typically use lumbar laminectomy, a technique which removes a portion of the vertebrae in the affected area, relieving the pressure.
Understanding The Two Types Of Lumbar Laminectomy
Spinal stenosis surgery typically involves lumbar laminectomy. Lumbar laminectomy is the removal of the lamina, or protrusions on the back of the spine. The idea behind removing these protrusions is that there is less tissue to press in on the spinal column itself, and thus less pressure in the short term and long term.
The major difference between the forms of lumbar laminectomy is how much of the lamina is removed. The Neuro Spine Institute typically prefers minimally invasive lumbar laminectomy. We spread the back muscles apart to gain access to the spine, and remove as little of the lamina as possible. This leads to a quick recovery with minimal downtime. Typically, patients who undergo this minimally invasive spinal stenosis surgery recover in a matter of days.
More invasive lumbar laminectomy was historically common before the minimally invasive technique was developed. The more invasive spinal stenosis surgery involves removal of much more of the lamina, which in turn requires actually cutting through the muscles and ligaments of the back. The healing required for this invasive lumbar laminectomy procedure is much more substantial than for our preferred minimally invasive option.
Freedom From Pain Through Surgery
Spinal stenosis surgery is more than just a treatment; for many patients, it represents freedom from pain, numbness, and discomfort. It is very common in older patients, and often goes undiagnosed or untreated. A properly performed lumbar laminectomy will can help treat spinal stenosis in many different ways, leading to substantial improvement in the short term and long term.
Call us today to learn how our experienced spinal stenosis surgery experts can help you lead a pain-free and active life with minimal recovery time.