About Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion
Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion Surgery treat the symptoms of spinal disc disorders such as herniated discs or degenerative disc diseases. Spinal disc disorders compress spinal nerves, causing pain and numbness in the legs or back.
An Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion surgery removes the part of the disc, which is putting pressure on the spinal nerve root. The pinched nerve is freed to relieve pressure, alleviating pain. Once the pressure is relieved, the vertebrae of the affected disc are fused together to increase spine stability.
Who Needs Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion?
Patients who are suffering from the following are candidates for an Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion surgery:
- A slipped or herniated disc.
- Spinal stenosis.
- Metastatic spinal cord compression.
- Spinal injuries which compress spinal nerves.
- Degenerative disc diseases.
- Previously failed spinal fusion surgery.
Patients often experience similar symptoms in these diseases. They will experience severe neck pain, back pain, and pain the legs. Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion surgery is typically performed to alleviate this pain; the surgery is recommended only after nonsurgical treatments fail to provide relief.
How Is It Performed?
An Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion surgery is performed in the following steps:
- The patient is given general anesthesia.
- The patient is positioned on his/her stomach. An incision is made posteriorly to access the spinal cord within the spinal canal.
- Once the area has been dilated, the surgeon performs a laminectomy or a discectomy to relieve pressure from the nerve root.
- Once the pressure is relieved, the spine surgeon joins the vertebrae of the affected disc with the help of a bone graft to fill the empty space and provide stability to the spine.
- Instruments are retracted, and the incision is closed with sutures.
This is an invasive surgical procedure; patients may suffer a longer recovery time. In contrast, minimally invasive surgical alternatives like laser spine surgery, lumbar spinal stenosis, or lumbar interbody fusion limit blood loss, scarring, and expedite post-op recovery.
However, an Open Lumbar Decompression and Fusion surgery is a more suitable option when the surgery is complicated by pre-existing conditions like brain tumors; disc replaces conditions and rugger jersey spine, etc.
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How Long Does It Take to Recover From Spinal Decompression Surgery?
Depending on the severity of your condition and your symptoms before the surgery, you can expect a period of four to six weeks before you can reach your expected level of function and mobility.
How Long Do You Stay in the Hospital After Spinal Fusion?
- You will have to stay at the medical care facility for two to four days after your spinal fusion surgery.
- During this time, your surgeon will monitor you and look out for any complications.
- You can take this time to learn about all safety precautions until your fusion solidifies and you can return to normal.
How Successful Is Decompression Surgery?
- Lumbar decompression surgery to relieve pressure on your spinal never roots is successful in alleviating pain in 80 to 90 percent of patients.