Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that can cause pain and discomfort. If your doctor feels that nonsurgical treatments aren’t helpful enough in alleviating your pain, surgical decompression or a laminectomy may be recommended to you.
During this operation you will be under general anesthesia. Your doctor will remove the back part of the bone that is covering the spinal canal over the area that is narrowed. This relieves compression on the nerve roots and allows them to assume a freer, less irritating orientation.
A laminectomy is also used when your disc is badly damaged, and the surgeon needs greater access to perform a discectomy. If spinal stenosis is present, the surgeon may enlarge the foramen, which is an opening between your vertebrae, to allow space for the nerve to exit. The goal of surgical decompression is to reduce the pain you are feeling.