Spinal Decompression

Living with chronic back pain can be debilitating, yet many patients avoid seeking treatment because they don't understand their treatment options. At OrthoBethesda in Bethesda, Maryland, we're proud to offer treatment for low back pain, neck pain and any pain that radiates into the arms and legs. This treatment is called spinal decompression surgery.

Don't allow chronic or acute pain to impact your quality of life. We invite you to meet with one of our spinal specialists to learn more about your spinal decompression treatment options.

What Spinal Decompression Treatments Are Available?

Spinal decompression surgery is a general term that refers to several surgical procedures. Each of these procedures is designed to relieve pain caused by pressure on your spinal cord and the surrounding nerves. Your orthopedic surgeon will help you determine which treatment option is right for your specific situation.

The following treatment options are the most common for spinal decompression:

  • Laminectomy: A laminectomy opens up space in your spine by removing the lamina — an area in the back of a vertebra that covers your spinal cord — and the thickened ligaments around it. This procedure relieves pressure caused by a bony overgrowth in your spinal canal, which is a common symptom of spinal arthritis.
  • Laminotomy: Like a laminectomy, a laminotomy removes parts of the lamina and surrounding ligaments. But in this procedure, only a small section of the lamina is extracted rather than the entire area. We'll typically focus on removing one side and leave the other intact. This method keeps the support of your lamina in place, which increases your chances of spinal stability. We can sometimes perform a laminotomy using an endoscope, which makes a smaller cut and allows you to recover faster.
  • Foraminotomy: This surgical treatment takes the pressure off compressed nerves by enlarging the space around a bone in the spinal column. We do this by removing the bone around the neural foramen — the opening between your vertebrae where your nerve root leaves your spine. You might receive a foraminotomy if a ruptured disc has made the foramen collapse and compress a nearby nerve, causing pain to the surrounding area.
  • Laminoplasty: Cervical laminoplasty is a treatment that removes pressure in the neck caused by your spinal cord. This pressure could have many causes, including arthritis, bone spurs, fractures and tumors. During the procedure, we'll expand your spinal canal by splitting the laminae on one side and swinging them open in a door-like motion. You'll usually need laminoplasty only if your pain stems from the neck area.
  • Discectomy: During a discectomy, we'll extract part of a damaged disc — the cushion between your spine's vertebrae. By taking out the portion of the disc that has ruptured and pushed on your surrounding bones, the procedure can relieve pressure on your nerves.

Learn More About Spinal Decompression Surgery at OrthoBethesda

We invite patients throughout Bethesda, MD, and beyond to contact us today to learn more about our spinal decompression treatment options. After meeting with one of our highly skilled orthopedic physicians, we'll help you find the best surgical approach that addresses your pain and gets you on the road to recovery. Give us a call at (301) 530-1010 now to schedule your appointment.

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