Spinal Stenosis Surgery


Spinal Stenosis Surgery is a procedure that decompresses spinal nerves and the spinal cord by widening the narrowed spinal column.

What is it?

Spinal Stenosis is a condition that makes the spinal column abnormally narrow and thin.  This situation can lead to some secondary symptoms because of the added pressure on the spinal cord.  Patients who suffer from spinal stenosis can experience back pain, shooting pains, loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, and in severe cases, paralysis.  Spinal Stenosis Surgery is performed to alleviate these symptoms but is often one of the last suggested treatments.  There are different approaches to Spinal Stenosis Surgeries that accommodate each patient individually.

What should I do to prepare?

Preparing for any surgery can be stressful.  It is best to understand and talk with your doctor about what will happen during the surgery and what to expect after it is complete.  Having a family member or close friend with you the day of surgery can help alleviate some stress. A patient should not eat or drink after the midnight before surgery.  Following the procedure, a patient will be kept for observation to ensure there was no complications or injury to the spine.  Packing an extra bag of clothes and necessities could be helpful.

What happens during the process?

The primary procedure used to treat Spinal Stenosis is called a Laminectomy.  This procedure can be done in the lumbar or cervical portion of the spine.  A surgeon can choose to go through the anterior or posterior side of the spine, depending on the particular condition.  The doctor will aim to remove or widen the compressed portion of the spinal column to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.  After decompression of the spine, it can destabilize, and the doctor will need to insert individual supports to help steady the spine during recovery.

What are the risks and potential complications? 

Any spinal surgery will pose severe risks.  A person might have an adverse reaction to anesthesia or other medications used during the procedure and experience pain or discomfort after surgery.  Spinal Stenosis Surgery can pose some risks including, but not limited to, paralysis, infection, cerebral spinal fluid leakage, and bleeding.


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