Spine surgeons regularly treat patients who are dealing with serious cases of spinal stenosis, caused by degenerative changes that cause the facet joints to enlarge. In many cases, the patient suffering from spinal stenosis is elderly and is dealing with pain and having difficulty moving as they once did. Add to that all of the other problems associated with old age and you’ve got a patient who is truly seeking relief.
That’s where a lumbar laminectomy enters the picture. This surgery, designed to remove a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or the disc material from under the nerve root, will give the nerve root more space and provide a better healing environment. For most patients, depending on age and overall health, it provides much relief and greatly reduces pain.
As a matter of fact, studies have shown that the outcome of a lumbar laminectomy in the treatment of spinal stenosis is generally quite favorable. Some three-quarters of all patients who undergo the surgery report an ability to return to their normal daily activities and a much-reduced level of the pain that is normally associated with spinal stenosis. Reports show that the procedure is especially effective for the relief of leg pain (sciatica) caused by spinal stenosis.
But no one, of course, is eager to undergo surgery unless they are convinced it is the best option for them. That means you – the surgeon – must make a good case for why this surgery is important and need to take the time to explain the procedure to the surgical candidate. To do that, it’s a wise idea to use more than just your words and a few 2D photos you have in your archives somewhere. It’s better to explain the lumbar laminectomy by using a fully dynamic model of the lumbar region of the spine.
The lumbar models manufactured by Dynamic Disc Designs (DDD) are better than any posters, photographs, 2D models, static 3D models, or even videos, when it comes to demonstrating the working of the spine and how spinal stenosis occurs. With one of DDD’s models in hand, the surgeon can demonstrate where degenerative changes have occurred, what happens during those changes, and how a lumbar laminectomy can assist in making things right again.
Better yet, the patient isn’t reduced to merely watching the demonstration. He or she can hold the model in their own hands, manipulate the parts, and really see and feel how the spine works. The result, especially for visual and tactile learners, is a solid understanding of stenosis and how the surgery will make the necessary repairs to elicit pain relief and better freedom of movement. The patient walks away feeling much more comfortable and less apprehensive, perhaps still a bit nervous but now looking forward to the relief they’ll receive once the surgery is complete.
DDD’s models are a must-have for spine surgeons who want to put patients’ minds at ease. Furthermore, they’re easy to use, affordable, and long lasting. An investment in one or more is money well spent for the thriving surgical practice.
“While I have used many models for patient teaching over the years, these models are so much more accurate and realistic. I strongly recommend these models for patient education and surgical consent discussions.”
~ Ali Moshirfar, MD, Orthopedic & Spine Surgery Institute