Posterior Lumbar Decompression for Spinal Stenosis
Following your recent MRI scan and consultation with your spinal surgeon you have been diagnosed with a narrowing of your lumbar spinal canal (stenosis). This is usually related to the wear and tear of the spine.
The normal spinal column has a central canal (or passage)through which the spinal cord passes down. To each side of the canal, spinal nerve roots branch out at every level. The spinal cord stops at the top of the lumbar spine (low back)and below that tiny nerve rootlets splay out like a horse’s tail (cauda equina). The spinal cord, nerve roots and cauda equina are protected by a tough outer membrane, or covering, called the dura mater.
In spinal stenosis, the spinal nerve roots and / or cauda equina become trapped or compressed by the bony spurs (osteophytes) on enlarged facet joints and the ‘buckling’ of a ligament (the ligamentum flavum which protects the dura mater). These changes consequently narrow the spinal canal.