Spinal Decompression Surgery – Is It the Right Choice for You?

With back pain being an extremely common condition in today’s world, I think it’s important to educate my patients on the variety of treatments available to them. While we prefer more conservative treatments and only recommend surgery in extreme cases, sometimes there is no other choice. Let’s talk about what spinal decompression surgery is, and if it’s the best choice for your condition. 

What is Spinal Decompression Surgery?

Spinal decompression surgery is a procedure that involves removing bone or tissue to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. The goal of the surgery is to create more space in the spinal canal to reduce pain and other symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and other conditions.

Types of Spinal Decompression Surgery


This type of surgery is performed to remove a small part of a herniated disc that is pressing on a nerve. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, and you most likely can go home the same day. 


This type of surgery involves removing part of the vertebral bone (lamina) to create more space in the spinal canal. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. However, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days after the surgery.

decompression spinal surgery

Benefits of Spinal Decompression Surgery

Pain Relief 

One of the most significant benefits of spinal decompression surgery is pain relief. By relieving pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, the surgery can reduce pain and other symptoms associated with spinal conditions.

Improved Mobility  

Spinal issues can cause limited mobility. Spinal decompression surgery can relieve the pressure on your spine and potentially increase your mobility, allowing you to perform daily activities with greater ease and improve your quality of life.

Minimal Scarring  

Spinal decompression surgery is minimally invasive, meaning that it involves small incisions and leads to a quicker recovery and minimal scarring. This can be a significant advantage if you are concerned about the appearance of scars.

Considerations For Spinal Decompression Surgery

Explore Non-Surgical Options  

More conservative options such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, and medication are typically the first course of action when treating spinal issues. Spinal decompression surgery is only considered when nothing else shows progress. 

Risks of Surgery 

As with any surgery, spinal decompression surgery carries risks, such as bleeding, infection, and nerve damage. 

Long Recovery Time  

Spinal decompression surgery requires a significant recovery period, and you may need to take several weeks off work or other activities. You will need physical therapy or rehabilitation after the surgery to regain strength and mobility.

Not Always Effective  

Although spinal surgery can bring considerable pain relief and enhance mobility for a majority of patients, it may not completely eradicate all pain or restore full functionality. Spinal decompression surgery may not be effective for everyone, and some may still experience pain and other symptoms even after the surgery. It’s important to have realistic expectations about the outcome of spinal decompression surgery. 

Follow Post-Surgery Care Instructions  

After spinal decompression surgery, it’s important to follow your post-surgery care instructions carefully. This may include rest, physical therapy, and rehabilitation exercises. Following these instructions can help ensure a smooth recovery and reduce the risk of complications.

what is spinal decompression surgery

Is Spinal Decompression Surgery Right for You?

At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, we understand the debilitating effect back pain has on your quality of life. If you would like to discuss spinal decompression surgery in more detail, please contact us to schedule a consultation today. 

We strongly believe in the benefits of preventive care and minimally invasive surgeries and are dedicated to providing expert care and support, and have extensive experience with herniated discs. With our personalized approach to patient education, we believe that we can provide you with the help you need to continue to live your life to the fullest.

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