People interested in lumbar spine surgery can watch an animation of the surgery, along with a detailed explanation of the surgical procedure, on the Spine-health website. Actual lumbar spine surgical videos are on the Medtronic website.
One type of lumbar spinal surgery, called a decompressive laminectomy, involves removing the bits of bone and tissue that cause pain in the patient, explains WebMD. A decompressive laminectomy may include a spinal fusion, where a surgeon places a bone graft between the two vertebral segments. Over time, the bone graft grows and fuses the two vertebral segments together until they are one bone. This technique prevents movement that could cause pain but also prevents the bones from putting pressure on the spinal nerves. Sometime the surgeon also uses a pin, screw or other medical device to prevent movement between the vertebral segments until the bone graft grows into place.
Spinal surgery can also reduce pain and numbness within the legs, as well as pain in the back, notes WebMD. Doctors also consider this surgery when patients have difficulty walking, controlling their bowel and bladder movements, or experience symptoms severe enough to inhibit their daily lives.
Surgeons use lumbar spinal surgery to treat lumbar degenerative disc disease and lumbar spondylolisthesis, according to Spine-health. Sometimes doctors use this surgery to treat fractures, an unstable spine, scoliosis or a spine deformity.