Spinal stenosis surgery can be done in myriad ways but all have the same goal. Second opinions can be very valuable in determining which procedure is most appropriate for you.
In order to understand spinal stenosis surgery, patients need to understand the concept of spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is simply a narrowing of the spinal canal where the space available for the spinal cord and nerve roots becomes compromised. Spinal stenosis surgery can be done in myriad ways but all have the same goal. The goal is to increase the size of the spinal canal and therefore give the spinal cord and the nerve roots more room. Spinal stenosis surgery can be done directly with laminotomies/laminectomies, indirectly with interspinous process spacers, or indirectly with anterior disc replacements/cages. All of these procedures aim to increase the cross sectional area of the spinal canal and therefore take pressure off of the nerve roots. With less pressure on the nerve roots, patients should feel less pain. Spinal stenosis surgery sometimes involves a spinal fusion at the same time, and this, in particular, is where second opinions can be very valuable.