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Radicular pain is pain radiating directly along a spinal nerve. This radiating pain is caused by compression (sometimes inflammation as the result of a injury to the nerves). Typically, radicular pain can be treated by non-invasive treatments including physical therapy and medication. However, if these treatment options do not work, then decompressive surgery is an option to alleviate the trouble areas. Two surgeries that employ decompressive treatments are laminectomies and discectomies.
Find out more about lumbar spinal stenosis here in Dr. Leone’s Knowledge Center.
Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis can often times be treated for lumbar spinal stenosis with medications and physical therapy. However, for patients who don’t improve with these methods and for more severe cases – surgery can be a solution. Luckily, there are a plethora of surgical procedures available to treat the condition including, but not limited to, laminectomies and spinal fusions.
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A laminectomy is a decompression surgery – meaning that space is created within the back part of the vertebra. This space is achieved by removing the lamina located in this region of the spine. When this space is created, the spine has become freed of pressure that would normally be central to the spinal cord and nerves associated. Commonly, people with arthritis find relief in this procedure as this pressure can be caused by bony overgrowth inside the spinal canal.
A laminectomy in spine surgery refers to the process of making the spinal column larger as a result of stenosis within the spine – which is a narrowing that leads to pressure on nerve roots. This stenosis or narrowing must be relieved through surgical means. In order to accomplish this, the backside of the spinal canal is removed. In addition, any bony projections that were formed are sometimes removed as well.
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Surgical intervention is the current treatment for most patients with spinal epidural abscess. The surgical approach and technique depend on the location and extent of the infection. Because the location is usually posterior, a decompressive laminectomy over the involved levels generally is the treatment of choice.¹
¹R. Vaccaro MD, Alexander. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005.
Consult Dr. Anthony Leone to learn more about spine surgery for spinal stenosis and other degenerative spine issues.
The standard surgical procedure for spinal stenosis is decompressive laminectomy. Because spinal stenosis is a global degenerative process, encompassing multiple levels and frequently involving nerve roots bilaterally, multilevel bilateral laminectomy commonly is required. For bilateral laminectomy the lamina and ligamentum flavum are removed on both sides of the stenotic level(s) to the lateral recess.¹
¹Garfin MD, Steven. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update : Spine. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1997.