What is Spinal Decompression?

Explained by Neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Shehadi from Neurosurgery Associates in Columbus Ohio.

Patients often come to us with low back pain, they frequently get diagnosed with what they call lumbar spinal stenosis.
MRI of the lumbar spine is typically needed to make the diagnosis properly of lumbar spinal stenosis.

Stenosis is a medical term that means narrowing. Which means to your spinal cord and or that your nerve roots are being compressed. Compressing your nerves causes pain.

So the treatment for spinal stenosis as always begins conservatively. Conservative treatment includes anti-inflammatory painkillers, outpatient physical therapy, sometimes a lumbar spinal brace which we provide here at this office and at times patients go for epidural steroid injections.

The steroid injections are optional, not mandatory if and when any or all of these conservative treatment measures fail then you become a good surgical candidate.

Surgical treatment options include lumbar decompression with or without spinal instrumentation. the key component is lumbar spinal decompression which means taking pressure off the spinal canal, spinal cord and nerve roots which are being compressed. Because compressed nerves are what causes the pain.

So in the simple sense, all you need to do is take the pressure off of these nerves. so lumbar laminectomies have been done for decades with high success rates. More recently doctors including myself offer spinal instrumentation and spinal instrumentation is a medical term for screws and rods that provide stability.

Both surgical options, a decompressive laminectomy with or without instrumented fusion and stabilization with screws and rods have very good success rates.

Feel free to contact our office for an in-person live consultation to learn more about lumbar spinal stenosis and how to feel better. Thank you.

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