Spine decompressionFor those patients who are ready to embark on a surgical journey to long-term relief, spine decompression surgeries come in two varieties. It is recommended to exhaust all other viable options before deciding on surgery. Medications, injections, and various therapies are available for consideration. However, many patients are not eligible for these solutions, or have otherwise tried them all to no avail. For the most severe pain sufferers, two spine decompression surgeries can be considered. Understanding the options more fully will help patients and their specialists make the right choice.

  • Microdiscectomy: This is the less invasive of the two spine decompression surgeries, and is indicated when the nerve pinch is caused more by a piece of disc rather than bone spurs. Sometimes also referred to as microdecompression, this surgery requires a laser or surgical tool to remove a portion of the disc that is pressing upon . In this way, herniated nucleus pulposus is removed and pain is alleviated.
  • Laminectomy: Considered primarily as a last resort, this surgery is elective and only recommended for patients who have attempted every other feasible option. Laminectomies are also sometimes referred to as open decompression, but they can be performed minimally invasively with a microscope as well. In brief, a section of the vertebral arch and the facet joint is taken out. This creates more space in the spinal canal to relieve pressure from the nerve roots and/or the spinal cord.

Discuss options with a spine surgeon to decide what will work for you.