Spinal Stenosis is an arthritic condition that can affect those over 40 years old. Spinal Stenosis can occur in the cervical spine but is far more frequent in the lumbar spine.
When non-surgical treatment options such as anti-inflammatories and physical therapy have proven to be ineffective, surgical intervention is an option. An innovative surgical option known as Minimally Invasive Lumbar Laminectomy can help reduce pain by creating more space in the spinal canal. In order to learn more about it, let’s go over some related anatomy, specifics of the procedure and expected results.
The spine’s vertebrae have the important job of protecting the spinal cord and providing support for the body. Age-induced arthritis causes the vertebrae to change shape and because of this change, the spinal canal narrows (Spinal Stenosis) and the spinal cord or spinal nerves can become impinged, irritated or pinched.
Illustration 1- Normal vs. arthritic vertebrae
This type of anatomical abnormality can cause any, or any combination, of the following:
- Lower back pain
- Lower extremity pain
When an orthopedic spine surgeon deems symptoms have reached the point where surgical intervention is necessary, a Minimally Invasive Lumbar Laminectomy can be performed.
The Laminectomy Procedure
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Laminectomy is performed posteriorly (from the back), and requires only a small incision. First, the surgeon will make an incision over the affected vertebra and move the muscles to the side. Next, the domed portion of bone over the spinal cord, known as the lamina is identified.
Next, the surgeon removes the portions of the lamina that are compressing the spinal cord or nerves, as well as any arthritis.
The removal of the lamina allows for more space within the spinal canal so that the spinal cord or nerves have more room. This decompression of the spinal cord and nerves is what allows for the relief from localized or radiating pain.
Following a lumbar laminectomy, the majority of patients report decreased pain/discomfort, increased ability to perform daily functions, and an improved quality of life
After Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery
After your procedure, you’ll be brought to a recovery room with nurses and medical staff. Once you are able to walk and perform some basic tasks, you can be discharged. In most instances, patients are able to return home the same day as their procedure due to newer techniques that reduce the size of the incision and shorten the operative time.
Arranging an Appointment
If you’re suffering from lower back and/or extremity pain, please contact our offices in Glen Rock or Maywood, NJ to arrange an appointment. Our Orthopedic Spine Surgeons will accurately diagnose your condition by performing a thorough physical examination and carefully analyzing medical imaging studies. Effective treatment options will be offered based on your unique condition.
The spine specialists at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery treat conditions of the cervical and lumbar spine using both non-surgical and surgical modalities. New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery is led by Dr. Dante Implicito and Dr. John Koerner. Both physicians have extensive training and experience in the utilization of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery techniques as well as non-surgical techniques.