What Treatments Are Used in Lumbar Spinal Decompression?
Lumbar spinal decompression is a surgical procedure that eases the pressure off specific nerves in the lower spine. The intervention relieves numbness, pain, and other symptoms that result from nerve compression in the lower back.
There are several reasons why nerve compression happens, which means that there are several approaches to treating the problem. Lumbar spinal decompression is an umbrella term that covers several surgical treatments.
An overview of lumbar spinal decompression
When a doctor recommends spinal decompression, they will guide their patient through the preparation process. Preparation involves getting the body healthy enough to get through surgery and recovery with little chance of complications. It is worth noting that this type of procedure is often seen as a last resort that only comes into play when more conservative treatments fail.
Here is what to expect from a spinal decompression procedure:
- The surgeon will have the patient fast for at least 6 hours before the procedure
- They will administer a general anesthetic right before the surgery
- At this point, the patient should be lying face-down on a specially designed mattress
- The doctor will disinfect the surgical site and make an incision
- They will lift the muscles off the vertebra at the surgical site
- Next, the surgeon will ease the pressure off the nerve using the appropriate technique for the patient’s situation
- After performing the decompression, the doctor will put the muscles back in their original position and stitch them together
- Lastly, they will suture the surgical site closed
The procedure is used to treat injuries, growths, slipped discs, or a narrow spinal column. Each of these conditions requires a different surgical technique, which the sections that follow describe.
This is the removal of any bone or soft tissue that crowds the spine. The surgeon will access the compressed nerve and move it towards the core of the spinal column. Once the nerve is safely out of the way, the surgeon will remove any bone or ligament pushing against the nerve. This effectively creates breathing room for the nerve. The surgeon will then close the surgical site
This treatment corrects the type of nerve compression that results from a slipped disc. The surgeon will access the problem area and move the compressed nerve out of the way. This action exposes the slipped disc and allows the surgeon to remove enough of the disc to make room for the nerve. The rest of the disc remains in place to act as padding between two adjacent vertebrae.
The surgeon will conclude the procedure by closing the surgical site.
3. Spinal fusion
This procedure prevents future spinal compression by connecting two adjacent vertebrae. When the two bones fuse into each other, they become a single, rigid bone that cannot shift and irritate nearby nerves.
A surgeon performs this procedure by placing donor bone between two vertebrae. The two vertebrae fuse with the bone graft to form one continuous bone with a limited range of motion.
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