Spinal nerve compression can develop for a number of different reasons, but individuals afflicted with the condition commonly experience pain, weakness, mobility loss and other symptoms which, if left untreated, can become debilitating. Fractures, infections or tumors are also often to blame for dangerous compression of these most critical nerves, and under such circumstances, it is often wise for patients to consider the option of undergoing a lumbar corpectomy procedure.
A high percentage of individuals selecting this course of treatment report significant pain relief as well as improved mobility, particularly when compared to those opting for other types of surgery or those who forgo interventions altogether. For these reasons, it makes good sense for those seeking an effective minimally evasive solution for spinal nerve compression to familiarize themselves with the procedure itself, its potential benefits and the recovery process they can likely expect.
The spinal decompression and fusion option known as anterior lumbar corpectomy represents a distinctive treatment characterized by the anterolateral approach used to eliminate problematic tissue and bone.
An incision is made in the flank portion of the patient’s abdominal zone, after which the full vertebral body and disc known to be causing nerve compression will be removed.
Replacement with bone graft material will then be initiated and fusion will occur in order to boost spinal stability. In some patients, metal screws and plates will be used where added stability is needed.
Benefits of This Surgery
The best candidates for this type of decompression procedure are often patients suffering from degenerative conditions marked by bone spurs and herniated discs. Others who may benefit from such an intervention include patients who have experienced a spinal fracture, serious infection or tumor growth that has resulted in spinal nerve pressure.
These conditions frequently cause agonizing pain, weakness and tingling that extends to the legs, hips and buttocks. Mobility can be substantially hindered and quality of life can decline steadily in the absence of treatment.
In order to assess whether this type of procedure is appropriate for a given patient, surgeons typically seek a comprehensive medical history, order x-rays, MRIs or CT scans in order to get a full picture of the situation. It should be noted that individuals suffering from existing spinal instability or other conditions may also need to undergo a posterior spinal fusion soon after the corpectomy is performed.
Spinal surgery of any sort brings with it a certain set of risks, given the delicacy of the area involved and the essential nature of the nerves situated in this region of the body.
However, anterior corpectomy procedures offer significant advantages over posterior approaches, as they permit the surgeon to access the spine without having to retract the spinal cord itself. This lowers the danger of neurologic injury greatly, something patients and doctors alike can appreciate.
Other potential complications from surgery of this type include nerve damage, pressure sores, loss of bowel and bladder function, infection, and anesthesia-related risks. However, success rates for patients undergoing anterior lumbar corpectomy are generally around 70 percent, giving those battling chronic back pain and related symptoms cause for real optimism.
Hiring a Spinal Surgeon
Anyone who has faced ongoing pain and mobility losses due to compression of the spinal nerves will attest to the feelings of frustration and despair which often follow.
When more conservative treatment options such as medication, physical therapy and site injections fail to produce noticeable results, patients owe it to themselves to explore surgical solutions proven to be effective.
If you would like to learn more about how a lumbar corpectomy procedure can help restore your vitality and freedom of movement, we invite you to contact us today.