A person undergoes Lumbar decompression surgery to treat a group of compressed nerves in the lower region of the spine or lumbar spine.
This surgery is used only when the non-surgical methods of treatment have failed to be effective.
Lumbar decompression surgery is done to treat various conditions, which we have listed below.
- Bulging discs: A cushion is present between two vertebrates. When it protrudes out from between them, it is known as a bulging disc.
- Degenerative discs: A condition in which the cushion present between vertebrae begins to go through wear and tear.
- Herniated discs: A condition in which the portion of a disc presses against a nerve.
- Spinal Stenosis: A condition involving narrowing gaps in the spine brought on by disc bulges, herniated disks, or bone spurs.
- Pinched nerves: A condition in which the nerves get compressed and cause sensations of pain, tingling, and numbness.
- Sciatica: A condition in which your sciatic nerve gets damaged.
Depending on the cause of the problem, any one of the following surgical procedures will be conducted.
- Corpectomy: This is a type of lumbar decompression fusion surgery that involves the removal of discs or vertebrae. The surgeon also performs a spinal fusion, in which two bones are fused together with the help of a bone graft to support the spine.
- Discectomy: In this surgery, the surgeon removes a portion of the discs in order to relieve pressure on the nerve.
- Laminectomy: In this type of lumbar decompression surgery, the surgeon pulls out the bone arches exerting pressure on the spinal canal. This widens up the spinal canal and releases pressure from it.
- Foraminectomy: In this surgery, the surgeon removes away the bones or tissues in order to widen the openings of the nerve roots, and this, in turn, helps to relieve pain.
- Osteophyte removal: In this surgical procedure, the surgeon extracts the bone spurs (osteophytes) to remove pressure from the lumbar spine.
Before the surgery
The patient who needs to undergo lumbar decompression surgery will first need to undergo a pre-operative assessment. This will involve taking a blood test and overall health checkup to confirm that the person is physically fit for surgery.
Further, an MRI or an X-ray of the spine will be taken.
When the patient passes the assessment, a meeting with the surgeon who will perform the surgery takes place. Usually, an orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon performs lumbar decompression surgery. The surgical options and procedures will be discussed in the meeting.
The patient can put up doubts and concerns and, on their resolution, sign an informed consent form to proceed further with the surgery.
During the surgery
On the day of the operation, the patient will need to lie on their stomach on a specialised curved bed. This will help make the affected part of the spine easier for the surgeon to access and relieve strain on the chest, pelvis, and abdomen.
The patient is sedated with a dose of general anaesthesia. Then, the surgeon performs the already-decided-upon surgical procedure.
Usually, the surgery lasts for about 1 hour. But it can also last longer if it’s a complex type of lumbar decompression surgery.
After the lumbar decompression surgery is complete, the patient is shifted to the ICU. Here, they are kept under observation for a few hours. When all the vitals show stable readings, they are shifted to a surgical recovery room.
Patients are usually discharged from the hospital within 1-4 days. Many of them start walking just a day after the surgery, depending on their overall health and well-being.
The overall lumbar decompression surgery recovery time stretches to about six weeks, and those who have undergone surgery can resume all their normal and strenuous activities.
The outlook of lumbar decompression surgery is good and effective. People can walk much more easily and quickly than before and experience a significant reduction in the severity level of pain.
Like any other surgery, lumbar decompression surgery isn’t free from complications. Though the surgery is often successful, still sometimes the following complications can arise:
- Clotting of blood in a vein of the leg
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clotting in an artery of a lung)
- Damage to the spinal cord or nerves
- A small degree of paralysis
Lumbar decompression surgery helps provide relief from compressed nerves and the excruciating pain associated with it.
If you suffer from lumbar-spine-related issues and are looking to find relief, the Department of Orthopaedics at the CK Birla Hospital can help.
The CK Birla Hospital’s orthopaedics team are equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment and focus on performing safe spine surgeries. Our spine surgeons have extensive experience treating various spine-related conditions with computer-assisted surgeries.
Besides employing the latest techniques in performing surgerical procedures, we support the post operative care with an in-house physiotherapy centre for rehabilitation.
So, to get the best-personalised lumbar decompression surgery, visit the CK Birla Hospital or book an appointment with Dr Raju Kalra.