Are you one of the 1.2 million people who suffer from and are diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis? Characterized by lower back pain, leg pain, and weakness, lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is simply a result of compression in the lower portion of the spine. LSS causes a person’s spinal canal to become narrower, putting pressure on the nerves in the lower back and creating pain in the lower extremities.
Fortunately, there is an answer to LSS: minimally invasive spinal decompression. This procedure, which reduces pain and increases mobility, can be performed on an outpatient basis and gets patients back to their normal activities faster. The orthopedic spine specialists at the Spine Surgery Center of Excellence in Beverly Hills are trained in the latest minimally invasive spinal decompression techniques.
What Causes LSS?
Several factors contribute to the development of lumbar spinal stenosis, though arthritis is the most common. As we get older, the discs between bones in our spine begin to lose water content and degrade. When this happens, discs can collapse and bulge out towards the spinal canal. Additionally, the tunnels between bones, through which nerves exit, get smaller and begin to pinch the nerves. These processes tend to create pain and discomfort in the lower back and legs.
How Will Spinal Decompression Help?
Minimally invasive spinal decompression relieves pressure within the spinal canal and relieves pain that is caused by the impingement of bone or disc material on nerves along the spinal cord. There are several ways that your spine can be decompressed, depending on which structure in the spine is causing your compression.
- Discectomy – If the compression in your spine is the result of a degenerated disc bulging into the spinal canal, a simple procedure can be performed to remove the part that has bulged out and is causing irritation.
- Laminectomy – If your pain is due to the tightening of nerve tunnels within the spine, this procedure can be performed to remove tiny pieces of bone to decompress the space around the affected nerves.
Minimally Invasive Spinal Decompression Procedures
Minimally invasive spinal decompression procedures are performed using small incisions and microscopic instruments. Rather than exposing a large area of the spine, the surgeon creates a narrow access directly over the site of stenosis. Next, Dr. Ozoa dilates the muscles surrounding the spine rather than stripping them away as in traditional open surgery. Instruments can be fed in through spaces between muscles and bones to alleviate the site of compression.
Patients undergoing minimally invasive spinal decompression can expect relatively quick recovery. Depending on the exact condition and procedure, some patients are able to go home the same day. Physical therapy often follows spinal decompression to regain strength in the back and legs. Most patients can return to work within two weeks.
Contact an Orthopedic Spine Specialist in Beverly Hills
The Spine Surgery Center of Excellence boasts some of the most talented orthopedic spine surgeons in Beverly Hills, trained in cutting-edge minimally invasive procedures. If you have questions about minimally invasive spine surgery or would like a surgical opinion on your back pain, please contact us at (888) 564-1419.