Monday, June 10, 2019

Spinal decompression (laminectomy)

Decompression surgery (laminectomy) opens the bony canals through which the spinal cord and nerves pass, creating more space for them to move freely. Narrowing / stenosis of the spinal and nerve root canals can cause chronic pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in your arms or legs. Surgery may be recommended if your symptoms have not improved with physical therapy or medications. ///

What is spinal decompression?///
Spinal stenosis is often caused by age-related changes: arthritis, enlarged joints, bulging discs, bone spurs, and thickened ligaments (Fig. 1). Spinal decompression can be performed anywhere along the spine from the neck (cervical) to the lower back (lumbar). The surgery is performed through an incision in the back (posterior) muscles. The lamina bone forms the backside of the spinal canal and makes a roof over the spinal cord. Removing the lamina and thickened ligament gives more room for the nerves and allows for removal of bone spurs (osteophytes). Depending on the extent of stenosis, one vertebra (single-level) or more (multi-level) may be involved.

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