Spinal decompression surgery refers to a variety of procedures that are designed to relieve symptoms caused by pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. Discover more about the most common decompression techniques available from Pacific Spine Specialists.

Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression surgery refers to a variety of procedures that are designed to relieve symptoms caused by pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. Spinal nerve compression may lead to pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling. With a spinal decompression procedure, patients can relieve pain and pressure on their spinal cord. Here at Pacific Spine, we may recommend spinal decompression to patients who are suffering from:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis

Most Common Decompression Techniques

Here is a brief overview of the most common techniques that are used for decompression:

  • Discectomy: In a discectomy, a portion of the disc is removed in order to relieve pressure on the surrounding nerve roots.
  • Laminectomy: A laminectomy involves removing a portion of the bony arches of the spinal canal known as the lamina. By removing the lamina, the size of the spinal cord is increased and pressure is relieved.
  • Foraminotomy: A foraminotomy is performed to expand the openings for the nerve roots to exit the spinal cord by removing some bone and other tissue.
  • Corpectomy: In a corpectomy, the body of a vertebra as well as the disc are removed.

Just like all surgeries, these procedures come with risks such as infection, bleeding, blood clots, nerve or tissue damage, and an allergic reaction to anesthesia. Fortunately, most patients who undergo spinal decompression enjoy success and have low complication rates.

IMERGENT Minimally Invasive Decompression and Fusion Spine Surgery

Whenever possible, we try to relieve spinal conditions with conservative treatments such as medication, steroid injections, and physical. In the event conservative treatments do not help, Dr. Keenen may recommend spinal decompression. Since he is a proponent of minimally invasive surgery, he may conduct the IMERGENT minimally invasive decompression and fusion spine surgery procedure.

This minimally invasive approach reduces the effects on the muscle and leads to a faster and more thorough recovery. Dr. Keenen uses a less than one inch incision to allow for decompression of pinched nerves and the stabilization of the spine. To guide the instrumentation placement during the procedure, he uses a microscope and fluoroscopy. In addition, Dr. Keenen opts for a low radiation dose protocol that is far safer than traditional techniques.

Contact Pacific Spine Today

If you believe you could benefit from spinal decompression, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Keenen looks forward to meeting you and helping you find the relief you deserve.