16 Jul Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes the narrowing of the spinal canal and can lead to severe pain, tingling, and numbness. It occurs mostly in adults who are 50 or older. It can happen due to arthritis, herniated discs, injuries, tumors, and numerous other conditions. Spinal stenosis typically affects the lower levels of the lumbar spine including L4-5, L5-S1 and also L3-4.
Spinal stenosis can be treated using minimally invasive spinal surgery as a safer and more effective alternative compared to traditional open surgery. There are many advantages of minimally invasive spinal surgery as it is performed using a small incision leading to small scars and less muscle disruption. There is also less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recuperation for the patients. The two main minimally invasive spinal surgeries used are:
Minimally Invasive Decompression Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
This can be used in mild and medium cases of spinal stenosis. In this category, both
- laminotomy – A one inch incision is made on the affected area slowing access to the spine. The surrounding muscle fibers and tissues are gently moved aside. A small portion of the lamina, the bony structure of the vertebra is then removed to create more space in the spinal canal.
- foraminotomy – A small incision is made to widen the space where the nerves leaves the spinal column known as the foramen when it is narrowed due to conditions such as bone spurs or herniated discs.
are most commonly used to remove the part that is compressing the nerve root of the spinal cord. This surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return home the same day.
Minimally Invasive Stabilization Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
This surgery is used in more severe cases of spinal stenosis. The most common type of surgeries in this category are:
- transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion – Also known as TLIF, this procedure is only done on the lumbar spine (the lower back). This procedure is used when there is a diseased disc that affects the surrounding nerves causing the spine to be unstable and no longer providing support to the regions above or below the affected area. The bad disc is removed and a bone graft and spacer is inserted to stabilize the spine.
- plate fusion – with this procedure, once the nerve root decompression is achieved, the fusion stabilization portion is performed using a plate that goes between the spinous processes.
- OLLIF – this procedure is performed by the talented surgeons at Inspired Spine. The surgery works amazingly well for indirectly decompressing the pinched nerve(s) by the interbody device pushing the spinal levels apart. The surgery takes approximately 45 minutes and can be performed as an outpatient!
All minimally invasive spinal surgery is performed using general anesthesia. After the surgery, patients will be taken to a recovery area and monitored until they regain consciousness. Most patients can move around and return home on the same day. It is advised that activity levels are increased gradually. There may be some pain and discomfort and pain medications can be used. Physical therapy is also recommended to help patients regain strength and increase recovery rates.
To learn your options for minimally invasive spine surgery for spinal stenosis, call Inspired Spine today. Most insurance is accepted!
- Perry M. Spinal stenosis – minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgery. Laser Spine Institute. Accessed 6/21/2017. https://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/spinal_stenosis/treatment/minimally_invasive_spine_surgery/
- What is spinal stenosis. WebMD. Accessed 6/21/2017. http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/spinal-stenosis#1