Accessibility Tools

Disease Overview

The spinal cord is protected by a bony column of vertebral bones, arranged one above the other. Injury or wear-and-tear can cause parts of the vertebrae to compress the nerves of the spinal cord, leading to pain, numbness or tingling in the part of the body that the nerve supplies.

What is Lumbar Decompression?

Lumbar decompression is a surgical procedure performed to relieve pressure over the compressed nerves in the lower spine (lumbar region).

Indications for Lumbar Decompression

Lumbar decompression is usually indicated for herniated lumbar disc, spinal stenosis, spinal injury or spinal tumors, and when conservative treatment options do not provide relief.

Lumbar Decompression Procedure

  • Lumbar decompression is performed under general anesthesia.
  • Your surgeon makes a small incision in the midline over your lower back.
  • The layers of muscle are separated, and the affected nerve root is identified.
  • The lamina (bony arch of your vertebra) may be removed (laminectomy) and the facet joints may be trimmed to reach the compressed nerve.
  • Your surgeon removes any bone spurs or disc material that is pressing on the spinal nerve.
  • The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and covered with a dressing.

Risks and Complications of Lumbar Decompression

As with any procedure, lumbar decompression may involve certain risks and complications such as infection, bleeding, leakage of cerebrospinal fluid, bladder or bowel incontinence, weakness, numbness, and pain.

  • Rothman Orthopaedic Institute
  • The University of California
  • Navy Medicine
  • Veteran Owned Business
  • Ao Spine
  • Thomas Jefferson University East Falls Campus
  • Backbone Healthworks
  • ATLS Logo
  • NSP Logo
  • DAN Logo
  • U.S. Navy SEALs
  •  Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
Locations & Directions

Main Clinic: Suite 220
Physical Therapy: Suite 108
4100 Lake Otis Pkwy
Anchorage, AK 99508

17025 Snowmobile Lane, Suite 102
Eagle River, AK 99577