How Decompression Surgery Can Help Patients With Neuropathy
Neuropathy is no longer regarded as an untreatable condition, but a manageable dysfunction. Treating neuropathy can result in less pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness. Nerve damage can be approached on multiple fronts, including diet, medications, surgery, and other novel therapies. Decompression surgery is effective at helping patients with neuropathy stop the pain.
What is decompression surgery?
Decompression surgery is a minimally invasive and effective surgical procedure used to reduce lower back and leg pain, carpal tunnel, as well as other pain caused by nerve damage. For spinal decompression surgery, surgeons may remove tissue, bone, or both, and perform a spinal fusion for support, if needed.
Laminotomy and laminectomy
Laminotomies and laminectomies remove a small section of the bone arch of the spinal canal, called the lamina. A laminotomy only removes a part of the lamina, while a laminectomy removes the entire lamina to relieve nerve pressure.
A diskectomy involves removing a damaged section of a herniated disk that causes irritation and nerve compression. Diskectomies are more commonly performed for pain that extends down the arms and legs rather than back or neck pain.
Foraminotomy or foraminectomy
A foraminotomy and foraminectomy remove bone and other tissue that is compressing a nerve. The decompression surgery allows more room for nerve roots to exit the spinal cord. A foraminotomy that removes a large amount of bone can be referred to as a foraminectomy.
Osteophytes are abnormal bone growths or spurs that can also grow around osteoarthritic joints. Osteophytes can be found in the neck, shoulder, knee, lower back, fingers, and foot. Osteophyte removal involves removing these bony lumps through a surgical procedure.
A corpectomy involves a procedure similar to a diskectomy, but a corpectomy removes most or all of a vertebral body to decompress the spinal cord and nerves. Surgeons may perform a spinal fusion and use a bone graft to support the vertebrae together when healed.
Neuropathy is not a permanent condition
After a short hospital stay, up to 90% of patients feel a significant pressure relief on nerve roots after decompression surgery. Surgery won’t reverse the natural vertebrae damage due to aging but can relieve symptoms in the here and now. For more information about neuropathy treatment, speak with a healthcare provider.