There are two types of surgery that are commonly used to treat spinal stenosis – a foraminotomy and a laminotomy. Both are types of decompressive surgeries designed to relieve pressure on pinched nerves in the spinal cord.
A foraminotomy is a procedure that involves an incision to open up the foramen to allow more room for the nerves to pass through (-otomy means to cut.) The foramen are openings on the left and right sides along the vertebrae. There are several disorders that can cause the nerves to become pinched. Denegerating or thinning discs can cause the vertebrae to come closer together, decreasing the amount of space in the foramen. Herniating or bulging discs can also infringe into the foramen as well.
A laminotomy is a procedure that will cut part of the lamina to decompress pressure on the nerves. The lamina of the vertebrae are two bony plates that extend to cover the spinal cavity on the posterior side. This can create more room for the spinal cord and allow he nerves to pass freely. In more serious cases, there is another type of decompressive surgery called a laminectomy, which is the removal of the lamina.
Fortunately, all of these surgeries are relatively simple with a very high success rate. With spinal stenosis laser surgery, doctors can perform minimally invasive surgery that only requires a few hours for the patient to recover before they can be released by the hospital. These procedures can also be done with only local anesthesia, reducing the amount of time needed to recover and be on your way.
For those with advanced spinal stenosis disorders, a foraminotomy and laminotomy are quick, easy and painless surgeries that can instantly improve your health condition.