This minimally invasive procedure is used to remove overgrown vertebral bone and soft tissue to relieve the compression of nerve roots in the lumbar (lower) spine. It is performed through a small incision on the back.
The surgeon uses x-ray to identify the diseased vertebral level or levels, then makes small incisions directly above the target level. A series of dilators of increasing size are guided down through muscles and soft tissue. The surgeon slides a tubular retractor over the dilators and removes them, creating a working channel that leaves muscle tissue intact.
The surgeon may use a microscope or endoscope to direct surgical instruments through the working channel. Excess bone or ligament tissue is carefully removed from the space around the nerve root, relieving pressure and pain.
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