Surgical Options for Decompression of the Lumbar Spine

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There are many paths to lower back pain, but nerve compression issues are most common and persistent. Here, we review different techniques for relieving that nerve pressure and your discomfort.

Most people have experienced discomfort in their lower backs at some point in their lives, and millions of people deal with back pain on a regular basis — 8% of adults in the United States, to be exact.

While there are many different drivers of lower back pain, nerve compression is among the more common, and persistent, issues. As a result, finding ways to take the pressure off the nerve(s) is key, and the good news is that there are several.

At our practice, Dr. Ali H. Mesiwala is a leading expert in spine surgery, and he has an impressive amount of experience — and success — in helping patients to find much-needed relief from back pain.

Here, we explore some of your options for decompressing the nerves in your lumbar spine.

Understanding the problem

Nerve compression in your lower back is often due to degenerative changes in the structures in your lower back. For example, degenerative disc disease, which affects about 90% of adults by age 60, can lead to nerve impingement in the lower back as disc materials escape their space.

Other degenerative issues that can lead to pinched nerves in your lower back include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Arthritis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Bone spurs

Degenerative issues aren’t the only culprits behind lumbar nerve compression, which can develop due to acute trauma or less common issues like spine tumors.

Symptoms for this include, but are not limited to: pain, numbness/tingling/burning, and sometimes even weakness. These symptoms can affect a variety of a patient’s life including their work and personal life. 

Whatever is compressing one of the 5 lumbar or 5 sacral nerve root pairs in your lower back, or crowding nerves in your spinal canal, we can help.

Surgical options for lumbar spinal decompression

If you’ve exhausted your nonsurgical options and the discomfort is still having a big impact on your quality of life, we want to change that. Dr. Mesiwala specializes in neurosurgery and offers several different solutions that can take the pressure off of the nerves in your lower back, including:

Lumbar discectomy

In this procedure, Dr. Mesiwala removes the piece of the lumbar disc that’s escaped its space and is pressing on one of your nerve roots.

Lumbar laminectomy

Dr. Mesiwala removes the lamina — the posterior part of your vertebra — to relieve pressure on the nerve fibers inside your spinal canal.

Spinal decompression and fusion surgery

For irreversible degeneration in your disc, Dr. Mesiwala may suggest removing the disc completely and fusing the two vertebrae on either side of the disc.

Artificial disc replacement

To maintain mobility in your lower back, Dr. Mesiwala can replace your damaged disc with an artificial one, eliminating the need to fuse your vertebrae together.

We recognize that this list is very basic in terms of descriptions, and it’s not complete, but our goal is to let you know that there are ways for us to tackle your chronic lower back problems.

Dr. Ali H. Mesiwala utilizes years of experience and expertise to offer you precise treatment options with the goal of returning to you an unrestricted lifestyle. 

To figure out which spine surgery would be best for relieving the pressure on the nerves in your lumbar spine, we invite you to contact one of our offices in Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, or Rancho Cucamonga, California, to schedule a consultation.