What will a neurosurgeon do for severe spinal stenosis?

Answered by Robert Dupre

A neurosurgeon is a specialist who is trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the nervous system, which includes the spine. When it comes to severe spinal stenosis, a neurosurgeon may recommend various treatment options depending on the individual case. One of the most common surgical procedures performed for severe spinal stenosis is a decompressive laminectomy.

During a decompressive laminectomy, the neurosurgeon will make an incision in the back, usually over the affected area of the spine. This allows access to the spinal canal, where the nerves are being compressed. The lamina, which is the back part of the bone covering the spinal canal, is then removed. This removal helps create more space for the nerves and relieves the compression.

The procedure aims to alleviate the symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, such as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs. By removing the lamina, the pressure on the nerves is reduced, allowing for improved nerve function and alleviation of symptoms.

It is important to note that a decompressive laminectomy is not always the first line of treatment for severe spinal stenosis. Non-surgical options, such as physical therapy, pain management, and lifestyle modifications, are usually attempted initially. However, if these conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief or if the condition is causing significant neurological deficits, surgery may be recommended.

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with a decompressive laminectomy. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, spinal fluid leak, and a small risk of worsening neurological symptoms. However, it’s important to remember that the overall success rate of the procedure is generally high, and the benefits often outweigh the risks.

Personal experiences and situations will vary for each individual, and it is crucial to consult with a neurosurgeon who can provide personalized advice based on a thorough evaluation of the specific case. The decision to undergo surgery for severe spinal stenosis should be made in collaboration with the neurosurgeon, taking into account the individual’s overall health, symptoms, and preferences.

A neurosurgeon may recommend a decompressive laminectomy as a surgical treatment option for severe spinal stenosis. This procedure involves removing the lamina to create more space for the compressed nerves in the spinal canal. While surgery is not always the first line of treatment, it can be effective in relieving symptoms and improving quality of life for individuals with severe spinal stenosis.