As the spinal cord makes its way through the spine, is can be squeezed or compressed by various vertebrae along the way. This is called spinal stenosis. Stenosis can be due to bone spurs, thinning spinal discs, or simply from the side effects of aging. Stenosis is common in the lower back, the lumbar spine. This consists of vertebrae L1-L5, the five lowest vertebrae in the spine and those carrying the heaviest loads. That’s part of the reason lower back pain is so common.
At Texas Neurosurgery, we perform what is called a lumbar laminectomy to relieve pressure and corresponding pain in the lumbar region.
What is a lumbar laminectomy?
A lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure to alleviate pressure on the spine. In the procedure, your Texas Neurosurgery surgeon will remove a small section of bone that covers the back of the spinal cord. This is the part of the vertebra called the lamina. He may also remove the small boney projections on the back of the vertebrae, the spinous process. Be removing these areas of the vertebra pushing on the spinal cord or on nerve roots exiting the spinal cord, the pressure is usually relieved and the patient feels instant relief.
With interbody fusion
A laminectomy may also include interbody fusion. This is a form of spinal fusion in which a bone graft is placed between two adjoining vertebrae to get those two vertebrae to heal into one solid piece. In an interbody fusion, the natural intervertebral discs between the two vertebrae are removed. They are then replaced by plastic or metal spacers that will work to maintain the proper spacing between vertebrae and alignment of the spine. Bone graft material is placed with the artificial discs to encourage new bone to grow and fuse the two vertebrae.
Arthrodesis, commonly known as lumbar spinal fusion surgery) is performed to correct spinal instability caused by stenosis. It is also a way to treat vertebral fractures.
With segmental fixation
Segmental fixation involves placing metal screws, bars, and plates in certain areas of the lower spine. This fully stabilizes the spine, allowing the bone grafts to grow and the two vertebrae to fuse together.
Do you have chronic lower back pain? It could be a result of spinal stenosis in your lumbar spine. The team at Texas Neurosurgery can alleviate your pain with a lumbar laminectomy and possibly fusion of the two discs causing the problem. Call the team at Texas Neurosurgery, (214) 823-2052, if you have chronic lower back pain. We can help.