Surgical Spinal Decompression


Surgical spinal decompression refers to various surgical procedures used to relieve spinal compression and its symptoms. Bulging or collapsed disks, thickened joints, loosened ligaments, and bone growth can all be reasons to seek surgical spinal decompression. Common symptoms of spinal nerve compression are pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, unsteadiness, problems with bladder or bowel function, and in severe cases, paralysis.

Spinal Decompression Techniques


In diskectomy, a part of the disk is removed, relieving pressure on the nerve roots.

Laminotomy or Laminectomy

During a laminotomy, a section of the lamina is removed, a part of the bony arch of the spinal canal. In a laminectomy, the entire lamina is removed, increasing the size of the spinal canal and relieving pressure.

Foraminotomy or Forminectomy

These procedures involve removing some bone and tissue to expand the openings for the nerve roots to exit the spinal cord.

Osteophyte Removal

In this procedure, bony growths called osteophytes or bone spurs are removed.


During this surgery, the body and disks of the vertebra are removed.


Surgical spinal decompression can have risks and side effects, including infection, bleeding, blood clots, nerve or tissue damage, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

The Surgery

While there is sometimes lengthy rehabilitation involved in surgical spinal decompression, the rate of success in relieving pain tends to be in 80-90% of patients. However, the surgery does not fix the underlying problem and symptoms may return. You may stay in the hospital for five days, and given pain medication for the duration.

Source: Cleveland Clinic


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