Spinal decompression surgery encompasses several types of surgery aimed at relieving symptoms caused by spinal nerve compression by widening the spinal canal. These surgeries can be performed in different areas of the spine, most commonly the cervical spine (neck area) and lumbar spine (lower back area).
Most spinal decompression surgeries involve the lamina, the "roof" section of the bony vertebral arch, which encloses the spinal cord. The spinal column includes 33 vertebrae, stacked upon each other. Spinal decompression surgery is not performed on the entire spine, but rather a small area of the spine where the compression is occurring.
Mercy's spine doctors use minimally invasive techniques to perform spine surgery. Minimally invasive surgery allows for a smaller incision, typically resulting in less pain and a faster return to daily activities. Mercy's doctors provide the following spinal decompression surgeries:
Laminectomy - removal of the lamina in the affected area of spine
Laminotomy - removal of a small section of the lamina in the affected area of the spine
Foraminotomy - removal of bone around the neural foramen in the affected area of the spine
Laminoplasty - cutting the lamina and swinging it open like a door to create more space
(performed only in the cervical spine)
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