Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

Prime Suspect:
Spinal Stenosis

The spinal column contains open spaces that create passageways for the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of (or an intrusion into) these openings. This can cause a compression of the nerves. Spinal stenosis most commonly affects the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can vary depending on the location and severity of the problem. Spinal stenosis can cause pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. Spinal stenosis in the lower back commonly causes sciatica, a sensation of burning pain that can travel through the buttocks and down the legs. Spinal stenosis can also cause problems with control of the bladder and bowels.



Surgery Overview:Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

The concept of minimally invasive decompression of either one side or both sides through a unilateral (one-sided) approach has been reported for the last 10 to 15 years. The advantage of this minimally invasive approach is that patients have less incisional discomfort and are able to return to many activities more quickly. It can be performed as an outpatient.


Generally speaking, early recovery and return to function, especially sedentary or light duty positions, are common. Patients can generally drive within a week to 10 days and return to sedentary types of positions within 2 to 4 weeks. The advantage of this minimally invasive approach is that patients have less incisional discomfort and are able to return to many activities more quickly. It can be performed as an outpatient.


  • Artificial Disc Replacement

    Artificial Disc Replacement

    An artificial cervical disc is a device inserted between two vertebrae in the neck to replace a damaged disc. It is best used for patients who are suffering from a herniated disc without much narrowing of the spine.

    Learn how you can begin to recover from an artificial disk replacement in less than 4 hours with Dr. Bookwalter.

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  • Cervical Fusion

    Cervical Fusion

    Though motion preservation is very important, there are times when cervical fusion is appropriate. One example is a during Laminectomy which removes a section of bone from the rear of one or more vertebrae to relieve the painful and disabling pressure of stenosis.

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  • Lumbar Microdiscectomy

    Lumbar Microdiscectomy

    A herniated disc is a common injury that can affect any part of the spine. A herniated disc can cause severe pain and other problems in the arms or legs.

    Discectomy is surgery to remove lumbar (low back) herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord . It tends to be done as microdiscectomy, which uses a special microscope to view the disc and nerves.

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  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

    Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

    Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within your spine. To the right you can see a healthy spine with lots of room for the spinal cord. When that room is filled in by calcium buildup and other factors the space around the spinal cord begins to close up. The buildup begins to put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine to your arms and legs. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck. Pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems with normal bladder or bowel function are all signs of Spinal Stenosis.

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  • Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy

    Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy

    This surgery removes bone and/or portions of a herniated or diseased disc to relieve neck and radiating arm pain caused by parts of the disc pressing on nerve roots.

    I am unique in using the lateral position for these procedures. This allows accurate localization and diminished soft tissue dissection. Generally this helps reduce the amount of postoperative discomfort patients experience.

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