Midline Lumbar Spine decompression (for spinal stenosis)
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Lumbar spine decompression is undertaken for spinal stenosis where non operative management has failed and the neurogenic claudication (or radicular) type symptoms are sufficiently severe to warrant the risks of spinal surgery. A patient is always counselled on the non-operative management options and should under normal circumstances have had a trial of these. Spinal stenosis is an age related condition which may become more prevalent as the population ages.
Lumbar spine decompression is indicated where leg symptoms are interfering with current enjoyment of life and may well be reducing exercise tolerance or simply the ability to walk. Any back pain should be manageable and non-specific (in other words no causative pathology identified).
The MRI should have confirmed the diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis.
The surgical steps in undertaking a midline sacrificing lumbar decompression are described here from set up through to post operative care.
Author:Mr Andrew Young FRCS (Tr & Orth)
Institution: The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, UK.