For patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) who have not responded to conservative treatment, there is another option before you pursue an invasive spine surgery. An endoscopic laminotomy is a minimally invasive spinal procedure that could effectively treat your symptoms, whether they are from LSS or some other spinal condition, and provide you with much-needed relief.
Almost everyone will experience some kind of spinal degeneration as they age. Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal becomes narrowed. This could happen because of age or some other spine-related issue like bone spurs or herniated discs. When the spinal canal narrows, it puts pressure on the spinal nerves causing a host of adverse side effects such as back pain, leg pain, numbness or tingling, as well as other symptoms.
A traditional laminotomy is a decompressive surgical procedure that relieves pressure on the nerves and gives them more space in the spinal column by removing part of the lamina, the bony arch of the vertebra that protect the spinal cord, as well as bone spurs, herniated disc material or fatty ligaments. However, an endoscopic laminotomy is one of the least invasive surgeries for effective treatment of LSS and may provide patients with the same benefits.
What Is an Endoscopic Laminotomy?
The team at Spine Institute of North America seeks to provide conservative treatment options for lumbar spinal stenosis first and foremost. However, if these fail to treat your symptoms, your doctor may recommend an endoscopic laminotomy.
When you undergo an endoscopic laminotomy, you’ll be able to leave the surgical center the same day the procedure is performed. After being sedated, your skin is numbed, and a small incision no bigger than two centimeters is made in the target area. Generally, an X-ray taken ahead of time will allow your doctor to verify where this incision needs to be made.
During the procedure, the surgeon creates an opening of the lamina above and below the spinal disc to relieve nerve compression. If some of your pain is caused by a herniated disc, then the surgeon can also address this concern at the same time.