All About Decompression Surgery

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All About Decompression Surgery

Sagittal view of spinal cord and spinal canal showing a herniated disk causing spinal stenosis; SOURCE: Screenshot from Spinal Stenosis; D1509

There are not many health centers in Pakistan that are dedicated to health issues related to spine and neck areas. Most of them either lack experienced staff or technical facilities required for complete treatment of the patient. At Hamid Latif Hospital, top of the line equipment and highly qualified medical staff, including Dr. Asif Bashir are there to make as healthy as ever. Dr. Asif Bashir is one of the most competent professionals for the treatment of spine conditions in Pakistan. Along with foreign qualifications and work experience, he has won a number of international awards and honors owing to his contribution to the field.

Decompression surgery is performed to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord or nerves, along with strengthening and maintaining the flexibility of the spine. In decompression surgery, a small portion of the bone over the nerve root or a disc under the nerve root is removed to give the nerve more space. The procedure is performed through a surgical incision in the back. Spinal decompression can be performed from the neck to the lower back in the spine. The three main procedures used are:

laminectomy –a section of bone is removed from the vertebrae to relieve pressure on the compressed nerve

discectomy –a section of a damaged disc is removed

spinal fusion – two or more vertebrae are joined together using bone graft


Laminectomy is a spinal decompression surgery that involves removing bone, called the lamina, to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve. The surgeon makes a small incision over the affected section of spine down to the lamina in order to access the compressed nerve. The cause of compression is identified and the nerve is pulled back towards the center of the spine. The part of the bone or ligament which is pressing on the nerve is removed.


Discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed to release the pressure on the spinal cord caused by a herniated or slipped disc. The surgeon will make an incision over the affected area of your spine. The muscles are gently separated and a tubular retractor is inserted to create a tunnel. An endoscope is used to visualize the spine and a portion of the lamina is removed to expose the compressed nerve. The compressed nerve is pulled away to expose the herniated disc. A portion of the disc is removed to prevent pressure on the nerves. Most of the disc is kept intact.

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is carried out to lower the compression of nearby nerves by joining two or more vertebrae together. An additional section of the bone is placed in the space between the vertebrae (bone grafting) which may be taken from somewhere else in the body or from a donated bone. In some cases, metal plates or screws may be used to provide further stability to the spine. Spinal fusion also prevents excessive movement and prevents instability in the spine

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