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Making A Decision About Spinal Decompression

Jul 15, 2019

Making A Decision About Spinal Decompression | AICA OrthopedicsIf chronic, long-lasting back pain is consuming your life, finding relief may be the only thing that is ever on your mind. Spinal decompression may be your answer, and it can be done surgically or non-surgically, and we are going to tell you all you need to know!

How Is Spinal Decompression Done Non-Surgically?

The non-surgical spinal decompression approach is made by stretching the spine, which helps relieve back pain. As the stretching occurs, the pressure is taken off of the discs in the spine, which are like gel-like cushions in the back. When pressure is released from the spine, the nerves and other structures of the spine also begin to relax, resulting in water and oxygen flowing more freely through the body, allowing for better healing.

Our Atlanta orthopedic doctors use a variety of viable treatment solutions, including:

  • Back or neck pain or sciatica, which is pain, weakness, or tingling that extends down the leg
  • Bulging or herniated disks or degenerative disk disease
  • Worn spinal joints (called posterior facet syndrome)
  • Injured or diseased spinal nerve roots

Non-surgical spinal decompression is a new approach and is still being studied for its effectiveness and is being compared to other non-surgical alternatives such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Limited rest
  • Steroid injections
  • Bracing
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture

How Is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Done?

When beginning non-surgical spinal decompression, our orthopedic doctors fit you for a harness that goes around your pelvis and then another around your trunk. You will then lie down either face up or down on a table that is controlled by a computer. Once everything is in place, our doctors will then customize a treatment plan geared toward your specific needs.

Anywhere between 20 to 30 treatments are lasting for approximately 30 to 45 minutes over five to seven weeks. Throughout your treatment, there are supplemental treatments such as:

  • Electrical stimulation (electric current that causes specific muscles to contract)
  • Ultrasound (the use of sound waves to generate heat and promote healing)
  • Heat or cold therapy

Am I A Candidate?

If you suffer from back pain, and have tried what you feel is everything and are looking for relief, consult with our team to learn more about your options. Not everyone is a perfect match for this approach as those who are pregnant are advised against this as are those with:

  • Fractures
  • Tumors
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Advanced osteoporosis
  • Metal implants in the spine

Why Try Surgical Spinal Decompression?

If all other options for chronic back pain have been exhausted without relief, spinal decompression may be suggested for those who have a bulging or ruptured disc or other spinal problems. Surgery may help alleviate the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

Are There Different Types of Spinal Decompression Surgery?

As there is no one size fits all surgery to solve back surgery, dependent upon your symptoms will depend on the type of surgery in which our surgeons will recommend to help you find the most relief from your pain. The most common back surgeries are:

  • Discectomy: In this procedure, a portion of the disc is removed to relieve pressure on nerves.
  • Laminotomy or laminectomy: A surgeon removes a small portion of bone — a section of the bony arch or the entire bony arch — to increase the size of the spinal canal and relieve pressure.
  • Foraminotomy or foraminotomy: A surgeon removes bone and other tissue to expand the openings for nerve roots.
  • Osteophyte removal: During the surgery, bony growths are removed.
  • Corpectomy: This procedure involves removing a vertebral body along with disks between the vertebrae.

Risks Of Surgery

With any surgery, there are always risks. Some risks common with spinal decompression surgery are:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Nerve or tissue damage

Spinal decompression can provide a great deal of relief for those who have suffered long enough. Our Atlanta orthopedic doctors specialize in this cutting edge approach and are providing our patients with the highest level of care in the Greater Atlanta area. If you have been suffering from long-lasting back pain and are looking for answers, dial (404) 855-2141 today to learn how our team can help you get your life back.


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