Low back pain surgery

Low back pain surgery, also known as Decompression Surgery is usually done to alleviate lower back pain.

April 22, 2022

Low back pain surgery, also known as Decompression Surgery is usually done to alleviate lower back pain.

Some facts about Low back pain surgery:

  • Microdiscectomy and laminectomy are modern spine surgery techniques that can be done with a minimum amount of post-operative discomfort.
  • Low back pain surgery can be a. more extensive type of back surgery, with a longer healing period.
  • A fusion surgery may be a reasonable option if the patient does not get low back pain relief after 6 to 12 months of conservative treatment and and your pain is persistent and disabling.
  • Nonsurgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, heat and physical therapy can be considered before opting for a back surgery.
  • The symptoms of low back pain often are caused by compressed nerves in your spine which can be either because of disk problems or overgrowth of bone..
  • The rubbery cushions that separates the bones of your spine can sometimes press too tightly against a spinal nerve and affect its function.
  • Osteoarthritis can result in overgrowth of bone that most commonly affects the hinge joints on the back part of the spinal column. This will reduce the amount of space available for nerves to pass through openings in your spine.
  • Reaction to anesthesia or other drugs, Bleeding, Infection, Blood clots, for instance in your legs or lungs, Heart attack, Stroke, Herniated disk and Nerve damage, which can lead to weakness, paralysis, pain, sexual dysfunction, or loss of bowel or bladder control are some of the risk associated with the surgery.
  • The potential problems for people with certain health conditions can be identified by the surgeon before the surgery.
  • Nerve damage or cauda equina syndrome will require a Low back pain surgery. A sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence or progressive weakness in the legs are the symptoms.
  • An abdominal aortic aneurysm in which the patient experience a severe, continuous abdominal and back pain requires an immediate spine surgery.

Types of Low back pain surgery and its Procedure:

Spinal fusion:

  • It is the most common type of surgery for chronic nonspecific back pain with degenerative changes.
  • The spinal bones, called vertebrae, will be joined together by your doctor which limits the motion between them and how far your nerves can stretch.
  • Two or more bones in your spine can be connected permanently by Spinal fusion. Pain can be relieved by adding stability to a spinal fracture.
  •  Painful motion between vertebrae that can result from a degenerated or injured disk can be eliminated by this method.


  • The cushion that separates your vertebrae, can cause back pain when it slip out of place and press on a spinal nerve.
  • All or part of the disk will be removed during a diskectomy by the surgeon to access the ruptured disk. This can be done either by making a big cut in your back, or through a small one called microdiscectomy.
  • Microdiscectomy is a standard surgical procedure for lumbar disc herniation which is performed with an operating microscope through a smaller incision.
  • Sometimes, diskectomy is part of a larger surgery that includes foraminotomy, laminectomy, or spinal fusion.


  • It is the most common surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis in which parts of the bone, bone spurs, or ligaments in your back will be removed by the surgeon. The  pressure on spinal nerves can be relieved and pain or weakness can be ease.
  • The bone overlying the spinal canal will be removed in Laminectomy.
  • Nerve pressure caused by spinal stenosis can be relieved by performing Laminectomy.You will probably need a spinal fusion as well if the procedure makes your spine less stable.


  • The  pain associated with a compressed nerve in the spine can be relieved in Foraminotomy.
  • The bone at the sides of your vertebrae will be cut by the surgeon to widen the space where nerves exit your spine. The pressure on the nerves will be relieved and your pain will ease with the extra room
  • You will probably need a spinal fusion as well if the procedure makes your spine less stable which increase the amount of time you need for recovery.

Disk replacement:

  • The damaged spinal disk will be removed and an artificial one will be inserted between your vertebrae which lets you continue to move your spine.
  • There is a chance that the new disk could slip or fall out of place and require repair. The time for recovery may be shorter than for a spinal fusion.

Interlaminar implant:

  • It is a minimally invasive alternative to more invasive laminectomy or laminectomy and fusion surgery in which a U-shaped device will be implanted between two vertebrae in your lower back that helps keep the space between them open and eases pressure on your spinal nerves.
  • Interlaminar implant can be done at the same time as a laminectomy.
  • Stability can be provided by the implant and you will be able to move your back almost like normal. However, you may not be able to bend backward as easily in that area.

Recovery after Surgery for Low Back Pain:

  • It takes 3 to 12 months to return to most normal daily activities after a spine fusion surgery.
  • The success rate in terms of pain relief depends on the condition the spine surgery is treating and is usually between 70 and 90percent.
  • A  total disc replacement or artificial disc surgery may also be performed as a treatment option for patients experiencing ongoing low back pain.
  • The symptoms of back pain and/or leg pain are much more likely to be due to degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) for patients who are 55 or older. This may result in a narrowing of the canal (spinal stenosis) and/or instability of one vertebral segment which get worse with walking and will improve with sitting.
  • Lumbar decompression with or without spine fusion may be recommended to help increase the individual's activity tolerance and quality of life when a patient no longer adequately function because of the low back pain.