If you have chronic, severe lower back pain that limits your mobility, you may benefit from lumbar decompression with or without spinal fusion surgery. Drew Brown IV, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Tampa, Florida, is an expert in minimally invasive approaches to lumbar decompression and fusion surgery. To find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive surgery that relieves pressure in your spinal canal and alleviates pain from deteriorated discs, contact Dr. Brown's office by phone or request an appointment online.
Your spinal canal may start to narrow because of age-related changes, including osteoarthritis. As the cartilage that protects your bones degrades, your spine produces more bone to take its place. These bony formations, called bone spurs, compress your spinal nerves in the canal, creating a painful condition called spinal stenosis.
In lumbar decompression surgery, Dr. Brown uses a minimally invasive approach to remove the excess bony protrusions from your spinal canal in the lower part of your back, also known as your lumbar spine. Lumbar decompression surgery is also called laminectomy. If arthritis has degraded your spine to the point where it becomes unstable, Dr. Brown may also recommend spinal fusion surgery.
If your spine is unstable because of spinal stenosis and degenerated discs, Dr. Brown removes the degraded disc material and fuses the vertebra on either side. Fusing the vertebra limits motion in that portion of the spine, so that you don’t feel pain anymore. Because just a small portion of the spine is fused, you should still be able to move normally once you heal, although you’ll be slightly less flexible.
Dr. Brown makes small incisions next to the areas that he intends to decompress and fuse. Using small instruments that he controls from outside your body, he removes the excess bone from your spinal canal while watching the procedure on a 3-D and magnified full-color monitor. He then uses the removed bone to create a graft for spinal fusion.
After decompressing your spine, Dr. Brown inserts rods or screws in the vertebra that needs fusion. He removes the diseased or degraded cartilage and places a small metal cage in its place. He fills the cage with bone grafts that were removed during decompression or taken from your pelvis.
The bone grafts separate each vertebra, so they no longer grind on one another. The grafts also stimulate your spine to create healthy new bone material. Once the vertebra fuses with the graft, you can’t move that small portion of your spine anymore, but you should have far less pain.
To alleviate your lower back pain and improve your overall mobility, contact Dr. Brown about spinal decompression and spinal fusion surgery. Call his office today or request an appointment online.