How do they fix a pinched nerve in your back

Spinal decompression procedures create more space for the nerve, relieving pressure and reducing pain.

Put a straw in your fist. Now squeeze. You’ll notice not much is able to pass through the straw. This is, essentially, what is happening in your spine when you have a pinched nerve. Your spinal cord or nerves (the straw) are being squeezed because of the impinging by bone/and or disc material.

Decompression is a surgical procedure to relieve pressure and alleviate pain caused by this impingement. A small portion of the bone over the nerve root, called lamina, and/or disc material from under the nerve root is removed to give the nerve more space.

Accurate and thorough diagnosis is key to selecting the best treatment options. The following is part of a comprehensive diagnostic workup:

  • Medical history – Assessment of symptoms, previous treatments and care.
  • Physical examination –  A careful examination by a spine specialist for limitations of movement, problems with balance, and pain. The examination should also cover loss of reflexes in your extremities, muscle weakness, loss of sensation or signs of spinal cord damage.
  • Diagnostic tests – Generally, we start with plain x-ray films, which allow us to rule out other problems such as infections. CT scans and MRIs are often used to give us three-dimensional views of the lumbar spine and can help detect herniated discs.

What are the Treatment Options for Pinched Nerves?

Non-Operative Treatment for Pinched Nerves

Conservative treatment such as rest, physical therapy, Chiropractic care, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are first choice for physicians. Rest and modification of activities can greatly benefit most patients.

  • Medications: anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and on rare occasions, narcotic medications
  • Heat/cold therapy: during the first 24-48 hours
  • Physical therapy: exercises to include: stretching, massage, and strengthening
  • Chiropractic care: Readjusting the joints
  • Epidural steroid injections: are used two-fold, first, to relieve inflammation of the affected spinal nerve and secondly, diagnostically to confirm the correct affected level at which the pain originates from.

Pinched Nerve Back Surgery Using Least Invasive Methods

If pain still persists and patient is intolerant to the pain after non-surgical treatment and there is evidence by CT Scan, MRI or X-ray of neurological deficit, then surgical intervention is usually recommended. The following surgical options can treat bulging disc and pinched nerves with 90% success:

  • Endoscopic Discectomy (transforaminal or interlaminer): Pinched nerve back surgery with an incision less than a ¼ inch. The surgeon can avoid all lamina bone resection and enter the spinal canal without disturbing or cutting muscle. The surgeon directly observes the herniated disc in a water (arthroscopy) environment with a surgical working channel endoscope coupled with an HD camera. Recovery is superior to microdiscectomy with most patients returning to work within a week. Conscious sedation is used with the patient awake, comfortable and aware during the procedure.
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  • Endoscopic Foraminalplasty: Unlike traditional open surgery, a small ¼ inch incision is made in the skin. The back muscles are spared and only dilated in order to gain access to the surgical site. The physician uses a working channel endoscope that allows for water and instruments to pass through the scope with an HD camera attached that provides a detailed view of the anatomy and the spinal cord. The patient is under conscious sedation- alert and comfortable throughout the procedure. No general anesthesia is needed and this lowers complication risk for the patient during endoscopic surgery.
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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgical Options For Pinched Nerves

  • MIS Laminectomy – Some or all of the lamina, or posterior part of the vertebra and spinal ligament are removed to free the nerves. Sometimes a spinal fusion is incorporated with a laminectomy due to spinal instability.
    How do they fix a pinched nerve in your back
  • Foraminotomy – The foramen or openings on the sides of the vertebra, through which spinal nerves exit the spinal column, is removed to reduce pressure on the nerve. Sometimes a spinal fusion is incorporated due to spinal instability after decompressing of the foramen.

How do they fix a pinched nerve in your back

  • MIS Microdiscectomy – Is a surgery to remove herniated disc material that is compressing a nerve root or the spinal cord.   This surgery is usually done as a microdiscectomy using a microscope or surgical loupes. Before the discectomy is done the surgeon removes a small piece of bone called the lamina from the targeted intervertebral body in order to access the herniated disc.  This bone resection is referred to as a laminectomy or laminotomy.  A microdiscectomy can be done as an open or with a tubular retractor.
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How do they fix a pinched nerve in your back

  • MIS TLIF Spinal Fusion -Two or more vertebrae are immobilized with surgical rods and screws. Bone graft is placed in the space between the vertebrae to encourage growth of the bones together.
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How do they fix a pinched nerve in your back

How Long Is The Recovery Time for Pinched Nerve Surgery?

Our Least Invasive Procedure patients’ can begin getting out of bed one hour after endoscopic surgery and go home shortly afterwards. There will probably be some pain after the procedure and is usually localized to the incision site. Activity is gradually increased and patients are typically able to return to work around a week to two weeks. Keep in mind just because there is less or no pain, always consult your physician before beginning any physical work.

Our Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery patients’ post-operative recovery time is much longer and may involve overnight stay in the hospital. Once your pain in under control you can go home. Dr. Rodriguez will give you medication to control your pain while you recover at home.

At home, you will need to continue to rest. You will be instructed on how to gradually increase your activity. You may still need to take the pain medications for a while. However, pain and discomfort should begin to reduce within a couple of weeks after surgery. The doctor will discuss with you other techniques for reducing pain and increasing flexibility before you leave for home. The doctor will also discuss with you a time frame for when you can resume basic activities such as walking, driving and light lifting, and when you can return to more advanced activities such as physical labor, sports and yard work.

How do you fix a pinched nerve in your back?

There are a variety of ways a person can relieve the pain of a pinched nerve at home..
Extra sleep and rest. Sleep is essential for a healing nerve. ... .
Change of posture. ... .
Ergonomic workstation. ... .
Pain relieving medications. ... .
Stretching and yoga. ... .
Massage or physical therapy. ... .
Splint. ... .
Elevate the legs..

How long does it take to recover from pinched nerve surgery?

Most patients are fully recovered about 4 to 6 weeks after minimally invasive spine surgery for a pinched nerve.

How do you Unpinch a nerve?

Some home remedies for a pinched nerve may include:.
Resting the Affected Area. When you have a pinched nerve giving yourself time to rest is important. ... .
Applying Ice. ... .
Using Heat Therapy. ... .
Stretching and Exercises. ... .
Physical Therapy. ... .
Chiropractic Care. ... .
Massage Therapy..

What kind of surgery do they do for pinched nerve?

Endoscopic Foraminoplasty. Endoscopic foraminoplasty is the least invasive spinal surgeries available to treat a pinched nerve in the neck or back that decompresses and frees a nerve. Foraminoplasty is a surgical procedure that enlarges the surrounding area of the spinal bone located near a pinched nerve.