Spinal Decompression Surgery

The narrowing and/or stenosis of the spine can restrict the spinal cord and nerve root, causing pain, numbness, or weakness in your arms or legs. Spinal decompression surgery is performed to open the bony canals in which the spinal cord and nerves pass through, creating more room for them to move freely. The surgery can be performed where the stenosis occurs in your spine.

Types of Spinal Decompression Surgery

  • Laminectomy – The removal of more structures of the spine including lamina, facet joints, and thickened ligaments that overlay the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Laminotomy – The removal of a small portion of lamina and ligaments, usually on one side.
  • Foraminotomy – This involves the removal of bone around the canal where the nerve root exits.
  • Discectomy – A partial removal of a bulging or degenerative disc that is putting pressure on the nerves.

Before Surgery

Depending on your medical condition, you may need clearance from your primary care physician or other specialist, such as a cardiologist. Certain medications may need to be stopped prior to surgery as well. Preoperative blood work and testing is also required from our clinic several days before the scheduled procedure.

Surgical Incisions

Your surgical incision(s) will be at the spinal stenosis area. The incisions can be closed with surgical adhesives, sutures, or staples. Surgical staples and sutures will be removed during your postoperative visit in our clinic.  Adhesive strips may be applied after staple or suture removal to bring edges of an incision together. These strips should be kept completely dry for the first 24 hours, and usually fall off within 7-10 days. 

After Surgery

After hospitalization, you will be released to either your home or a rehab facility, depending on your condition. A follow-up appointment in our clinic will then be scheduled, and you will be prescribed narcotic pain medications to be used for a limited time frame. 

We recommend that our patients drink lots of water and eat high-fiber foods to prevent constipation that can often occur from these medications. Over-the-counter laxatives and stool softeners can be used, if needed, as well.

You will have some physical restrictions for up to 10 days after the surgery, which our providers will discuss.

What You Can Do to Help with Your Recovery?

Patients are urged to cease all tobacco use including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigar pipes, chewing tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. Nicotine slows down bone growth and decreases blood circulation, which in turn slows down wound healing while simultaneously increasing the risk of postoperative infection.

Oklahoma Center for Spine and Pain Solutions possesses years of experience diagnosing and treating bone, joint, and muscle injuries and conditions, including musculoskeletal and spinal disorders. Our team would love to help you find relief!

Human backbone in x-ray, on gray background

Ready To Learn More?

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team so we can determine if spinal decompression surgery is the ideal solution for your specific back issues.