Neurosurgery, Spine Surgery

April 8, 2016

Do You Need Spinal Decompression Surgery?


Spinal decompression can provide relief for ongoing back pain and other symptoms associated with certain spine conditions. Spinal decompression treatments are available in nonsurgical and surgical forms depending on the severity of your condition.

If you experience persistent back pain and stiffness, you know that common forms of treatment like pain medication and physical therapy do not always alleviate the pain or improve your condition. When you have recurring back pain due to injuries, spinal disc problems, or other conditions, spinal decompression surgery and nonsurgical decompression are treatments that may bring you long-term relief.

Spinal Decompression Surgery
Neurosurgeons usually recommend spinal decompression surgery once other forms of treatment have proven to be ineffective. The treatment is highly effective and works by easing the pressure on your discs and nerves if you have bulging discs or bone spurs. There are several types of spinal decompression surgery, including laminectomies, foraminotomies, and discectomies. All types of spinal decompression surgery focus on relieving pressure on your nerves and in your spinal column, which decreases inflammation and pain:

  • Removing part of the bone that is putting pressure on your discs and nerves can ease pain and stiffness, as well as tingling, numbness and other symptoms
  • Relieving the pressure on your spinal discs and nerves can lower the risk of complications from serious problems, such as paralysis or bowel and bladder issues
  • Spinal decompression surgery has a high success rate for relieving pain and other symptoms in 80-90% of patients

Surgical spinal decompression does have a few risks, as does any type of surgery. These risks include bleeding, infection, blood clots, and nerve damage. In some cases, symptoms can come back, especially if your pain is caused by spinal disc deterioration, which will continue to worsen after surgery. Discuss your treatment options with your neurosurgeon.

Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression
Nonsurgical spinal decompression involves stretching your spine to ease pressure on the affected discs, which can help relieve your pain. This type of treatment is used to treat sciatica, spinal injuries, bulging or herniated discs, and deteriorated spinal joints.

One of the key benefits of nonsurgical spinal decompression is that it takes pressure off the affected discs, making it easier for nutrients, oxygen and water to be pulled into your disc and begin the healing process. It is a noninvasive and painless form of treatment. In some cases, patients might feel mild soreness after treatment, but this is temporary.

Although nonsurgical spinal decompression might help relieve your back pain, it is important to discuss your treatment options with your neurosurgeon to prevent further injury. You may not be able to undergo spinal decompression if you have a more advanced spine condition, such as a spinal fracture, spinal tumors, or severe osteoporosis. Nonsurgical spinal decompression is also not recommended if you are pregnant.

If you suffer from chronic back pain and want to know more about spinal decompression surgery, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at 877-918-7020 to schedule an appointment. We’re dedicated to helping you reduce pain and increase motion and quality of life.

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