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Canal stenosis surgery — an overview

Spinal canal stenosis surgery is usually seen as a last resort for people who have already attempted conservative treatments. People who are considered candidates for elective spinal surgery have typically tried weeks or months of treatments — including options like rest, medication, physical therapy and lifestyle changes — without finding the relief to engage comfortably in everyday activities.

If you are considering surgery to treat canal stenosis, it is important to be as educated as possible about your treatment options. The following guide to the surgical approaches and procedures available to treat canal stenosis can help you work closely with your doctor to make a confident and informed decision.

Types of canal stenosis surgery

Depending on the specific type of canal stenosis, the surgery may be attempted several different ways. This is because not everyone who has canal stenosis is affected in the same way — some people have their spinal canal narrowed by a bone spur, while others experience stenosis due to the thickening of a ligament or the bulging of a spinal disc.

Some of the most commonly used procedures include:

  • Laminectomy — the removal of part of the vertebral wall, called the lamina, to take pressure off the spinal cord
  • Laminotomy — the partial removal of the lamina
  • Foraminotomy — the widening of openings in the spinal column to take pressure off nerve roots
  • Discectomy — the removal of part or all of a damaged spinal disc that is compressing spinal nerves

All of these approaches are intended to relieve the pressure that spinal components can place upon nerve roots or the spinal cord. Performed as a traditional open spine surgery, these procedures require a large incision, overnight hospitalization and a long recovery period.

Alternatives to traditional open spine surgery

Traditional open spine surgery isn’t the only option available to patients who have canal stenosis. USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, which offers patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period compared to traditional open spine procedures. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our surgeons can access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision, which means our procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis.

To learn more about our minimally invasive approach to canal stenosis surgery, contact USA Spine Care today. Ask one of our Spine Care Consultants for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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