Endoscopic decompression procedures are performed in order to remove pressure that is placed on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots located in the spinal column. Compression in the spine can be caused by a number of reasons producing a condition called Spinal Stenosis. Lumbar stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal (where spinal nerves pass) is narrowed and causes symptoms by compressing the lumbar spinal nerves. Stenosis can be acquired or congenital.
- Congenital stenosis can result from particular diseases but many people are born with a narrow spinal canal. It is not until degeneration starts to occur that they become symptomatic.
- Acquired Stenosis is due to spinal degeneration. As the discs in our body begin to degenerate, there is a narrowing in the disc height. Bulging and herniated discs may develop along with bony spurs. The facet joint becomes compressed, producing bony spurs. Ligaments in the spine may also begin to thicken. All of these changes and structures may cause narrowing of the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen, where the spinal nerves exit. These foramen or openings are found on all levels of the spine.
Some spinal conditions that can cause bone or tissue to enter into the foramina include:
- Bulging discs
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Bone spurs
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Thickening of Spinal Ligaments
- Facet Joint Arthritis and spurring
- Overgrowth of facet joint capsule
- Spinal Arthritis or Spondylosis