The lumbar spine is located in the lower back, where the spine curves inward toward the abdomen.
Lumbar decompression surgery is used to treat compressed nerves in the lower (lumbar) spine when non-surgical treatments, from medications to physical therapy, have failed to relieve the pain or numbness the patient experiences.
This type of surgery aims to improve painful symptoms caused by pressure on the nerves in the spine. Other symptoms may include:
- Decreased range of motion or stiffness in neck
- Knot or tight spot in back muscle
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling in limbs, most often on both sides of the body
Lumbar decompression surgery is often used to treat:
- Spinal Stenosis – narrowing of a section of the spinal column, which puts pressure on the nerves inside
- A slipped disc and sciatica – where a damaged spinal disc presses down on an underlying nerve
- Spinal Injuries – such as a fracture or the swelling of tissue
- Metastatic spinal cord compression – where cancer in one part of the body, such as the lungs, spreads into the spine and presses on the spinal cord or nerves
Common Procedures For Treating Thoracic Disorders
Microdiscectomy – a procedure that uses minimally invasive techniques to provide relief from pain caused by a lumbar herniated disc.
Laminectomy – a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina, which is the roof of the spinal canal.
Foraminotomy – a medical operation used to relieve pressure on nerves that are being compressed by the intervertebral foramina, the passages through the bones of the vertebrae of the spine that pass nerve bundles to the body from the spinal cord.
Spinal Fusion – a surgical procedure used to correct problems with the small bones in the spine (vertebrae). It is essentially a “welding” process. The basic idea is to fuse together two or more vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone.
There are many different types of surgical methods to provide relief or, in the removal of benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumors in the case of some types of cancer, via lumbar surgery. Based on your unique case and health standing, your surgeon may recommend operating through the posterior (from your back), anterior (from your front) or using a minimally invasive fusion method (one that reduces trauma with smaller incisions and less downtime).