Lumbar decompression allows for removal of tight area of compression of the nerves known as stenosis.
Lumbar stenosis is narrowing of the space containing the nerves known as the spinal canal or spinal foramen. When there is compression of the canal patients often notice they can’t walk very far before they have to sit and recover. Stenosis patients also have a tendenacy to bend forward when they walk to decrease the symptoms. Some patients also have no pain but declining gait and leg fatigue.
When the narrowing is of the foramen or small tunnels to the sides of the spine, this can be very painful in the leg and cause what is known as a radiculopathy.
Lumbar stenosis symptoms will often improve with medication, injections, therapy, and/or chiropractic care but if a patient fails non-surgical care, they are potential candidates for surgery.
Lumbar Stenosis Surgical Treatment
Lumbar stenosis is treated with either laminectomy or foraminotomy which are surgeries performed to make more room for the nerves. The most modern way is a tubular approach that allows for muscle sparing and less trauma to the spine. The surgery for one level takes less than 1 hour and is done usually in the outpatient setting. After surgery, patient’s need to follow restrictions for about 4-6 weeks but are encouraged to walk as much as they can.
In some instances, fusion is used for stenosis when there is also deformity or bone removal alone would lead to post-surgical instability of the spine. You can learn more about fusion here:
Learn more about lumbar decompression at:
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Legacy SpineHealth Clinic
24900 SE Stark St, Suite 109
Gresham, OR 97030
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