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What is a Lumbar Decompression?
A lumbar discectomy may be performed to remove bulging or herniated disc material. If more than one problem is discovered during your procedure, the physician can diagnose and treat it at the same time. This helps us reach our goal of ONE procedure per patient. One or a combination of the following approaches may be performed:
Sacral. In this approach, the physician will insert an endoscopic fiber optic scope through a tiny incision and into the sacrum, the natural opening at the base of the spine. Through direct visualization, the physician is able to examine the inside of the spinal canal and the discs of the lumbar spine to identify any tears, ruptures, herniations, bulges, or other abnormalities. The physician then uses the laser, to shrink the damaged disc material and relieve pressure on the spinal nerves.
Posterior lateral. In this approach, the physician will insert a small, hollow needle through the posterior (back) side of the lateral (side) spine directly into the disc tissue. A laser is then passed through the needle into the disc where it is fired intermittently to shrink bulging/herniated disc tissue, decompress the affected nerve, and seal the tear. Fluoroscopy, which is used to convert x-rays into video images, is used to watch and guide the progress of the procedure.
Laminotomy and laminectomy are two surgical procedures performed on the section of a spinal bone called the lamina. Laminotomies involve removal of only a minor segment of the lamina, while laminectomies involve removal of most or all of the lamina. Both procedures are performed to relieve excessive pressure on the spinal cord or its associated nerve roots caused by degenerative discs, herniation, bulging discs and spinal stenosis.
Each of your spinal bones (vertebrae) has a flat, oval-shaped main body and a rear section that roughly resembles a pair of outspread wings. The rear portion of the main vertebral body forms the front wall of the spinal canal, while the various structures in the rear section form the rear and sides of the canal. Your lamina sits in the middle of this rear section and forms the rear wall of the canal, also known as the canal “roof.”
Basic Lumbar Decompression Patient Information
The recovery period following this surgery is typically much shorter than open back surgery. While any surgery requires time to heal, many patients report immediate pain relief and are able to return to light activities the following day.
The goal of a lumbar discectomy is to relieve the disc’s pressure on nerves in the spinal canal, and as a result, stop the associated chronic back pain that the patient is feeling. A minimally invasive approach is designed to perform the same procedure as the traditional discectomy, using smaller tools and therefore creating less surgical trauma. Damage to bone and muscle tissue is minimal and recovery time is reduced. This approach also results in a lower rate of serious complications during or after surgery.
Benefits of Our Lumbar Decompression Procedure
Minimally Invasive Surgery. Maximum Advantage.
Truly Minimally Invasive
Incisions made are 5 millimeters or less in length, allowing for minimal scar tissue and less infection risk