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Lumbar Decompression Surgery

  • Definition

    Lumbar Decompression Surgery is a treatment for spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).


    spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal canal, which may result in pressure on the internal structures. Vague leg pain, numbness, and tingling distributed over the anterior and posterior thighs and calves are brought on, classically, by spinal postures that mechanically compromise the neural canal and foramina (openings for nerves). Less often, this syndrome is precipitated by the increased metabolic and vascular demands of the lower extremities, causing a compromise of neural blood flow. Both these mechanisms can occur at the same time.

    Degenerative spinal stenosis develops with aging. Everyone begins with a different spinal canal size and shape. With aging, the spinal canal volume decreases. If the original size is large, the aging process may not cause symptoms, but if the original size is small, pressure on the neural elements over time may cause clinical symptoms. Initial variations in size and shape of the canal can be quite marked. The configuration of the spinal canal is just as important as the diameter, and there are anatomic characteristics associated with constriction.


    Is the pain due to spinal stenosis?

    To what extent is the spinal canal compromised?

    Would anti-inflammatory drugs help?

    Is surgery indicated?

    What would be the goal of the surgery?

    How long will recovery take?

    What is expected after full recovery?