Spinal decompression is a surgical procedure performed to alleviate pain caused by pinched nerves (neural impingement). In this type of back surgery, a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disk material from beneath the nerve root is removed to provide the nerve root with more space and an optimum healing environment.
One of the most common surgical procedures is a diskectomy, the removal of a herniated intervertebral disk to relieve pressure on a nerve root. In this procedure, disk material is removed to free the nerves from pressure and irritation and prevent the disk from herniating again. A laminectomy involves the excision of a vertebral posterior arch (lamina), usually to remove a lesion or herniated disk, to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve. Various devices such as screws or rods may be used to enhance the ability to obtain a solid fusion and support unstable areas of the spine.
Lumbar disk replacement is similar to hip and knee replacements in that the surgeon is removing a damaged joint and replacing it with a metal and plastic implant designed to move like a normal part. The goal of this relatively new procedure is to achieve the same pain reduction as spinal fusion while eliminating some of the complications.
Spinal fusion involves surgical treatment of abnormalities in the vertebrae (such as abnormal curvatures) or injuries (such as fractures). The surgery stabilizes the back by fusing the affected vertebrae together with bone grafts, with or without pedicle screws, plates, cages or other devices. Over time, the graft will fuse the adjacent levels of vertebral bone to each other. The most common area involved is the lower (lumbar) spine, but upper (cervical) spine fusion can also be performed. Back pain may occur for a variety of reasons, including pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, a ruptured or bulging vertebral disk, an unstable spinal column, curvature in the spinal column or damage to vertebral bones.
Clinical solutions related to this procedure: SurgiStim3® (electrotherapy), SpinaLogic (bone growth stimulation), Game Ready™ (cold therapy), ULTRAlign+ (back brace), CoolBrace (cervical collar), Home exercise kit