In 2011, as my neurosurgeon was explaining the results of the laminectomy, he casually mentioned that I had condition known as Spinal Stenosis, most likely congenital and most likely the cause of my Sciatica. Of course, this was all news to me and I wondered why it hadn’t been noticed on the MRI scan. Regardless, I had a new back ailment to add to the list and one that laminectomy should partially fix.
Spinal Stenosis (Lumbar) is a narrowing of spaces between the vertebrae that puts pressure on the spinal column and roots/nerves around it. The NIH provides a more complete definition but basically without the spacing that exists in a normal back, the spinal cord becomes compressed and that often causes tingling, weakness, numbness or radiating pain down through the lower back and in the buttocks and legs. Add some degenerative disc issues along with that and you’re left with a constant tight, inflamed back. This recent article in Ortho Spine News reveals how prevalent the problem is especially among the baby boomer population.
Anti-inflamatories of the non-steroid variety or NSAIDs
Cortisone injections using x-ray into the spinal column.
Laminectomy, as I’ve described here is fairly common procedure that involves surgically removing part of the laminae that protects the spinal column to create space allowing nerves to decompress.
Spinal Fusion, as I’ve describe here is a procedure to build stability between vertebrae using bone grafts, metal screws and other surgical hardware.
Microlaminectomy – This one’s hot off the press. A brand new procedure introduced by Dr. Rad Payman using a minimally invasive technique to remove lamina from the spine. Here’s the full article: