How can I decompress my spine

Lumbar spinal stenosis

The term lumbar spinal stenosis describes the narrowing of the spinal canal. Typical symptoms are load-dependent back pain with or without radiating to the legs. Many patients also report a shortened walking distance. After a few meters, the affected patients have to sit down or bend forward to relieve the symptoms.

The degenerative spinal canal stenosis results from the increasing wear of the intervertebral disc, the intervertebral disc bulges increasingly and constricts the spinal canal, and the intervertebral joints are overloaded and osteoarthritis develops (spondylarthrosis). As a result of the overload, bony attachments are increasingly forming on the vertebrae and the vertebral joints, which also massively constrict the spinal canal and can damage the nerve structures in it through pressure.

Conservative therapy can be successful if the spinal canal is only relatively narrowed and there are only slight symptoms. If there is pronounced pain or neurological deficits, an imaging evaluation must be carried out

If there is evidence of significant spinal stenosis and therapy-resistant symptoms or even neurological deficits such as paralysis, the patient should be recommended surgical therapy.

The aim of surgical treatment is the bony decompression of the nerve structures in the spinal canal. There are several operative methods available for this:

Laminectomy

The traditional standard operation for lumbar spinal stenosis is decompression laminectomy. Vertebral arches, spinous processes, ligament structures and also parts of the vertebral joints are removed during this roofing of the spinal canal.

Windowing

With this technique, only part of the vertebral arches and restrictive ligament structures are removed. The spinous processes are preserved. All procedures aim to decompress the nerve roots. The surgical methods all have a high success rate with regard to the complaints radiating to the legs.

stabilization

With advanced degeneration, in addition to the narrowing of the spinal canal, wear-related instability of the vertebral segments can occur. During surgical treatment, in addition to the bony decompression, surgical stiffening of the affected segments using a screw plate (rod) system and insertion of a titanium or Kunsthoff spacer (cage) into the intervertebral space must be carried out.