Lumbar laminectomy surgery is one of the most common decompressive spine surgeries performed daily in operating rooms across the world. However, not every laminectomy surgery is performed the same way by each surgeon. There are various developing techniques that we spine surgeons use to treat patients who suffer from back and leg pain. In my practice, I have listened countless times to how life-altering this pain can be on their work and active lifestyle. In the lower back, (lumbar spine) the spinal cord or dura within the spinal canal can become compressed causing significant pain. This is often referred to as spinal stenosis.
As surgeons we are always looking for ways to improve the care we provide. An often overlooked yet equally important factor are the steps taken prior to even setting foot in the operative suite. Pre-operative planning is a factor that was stressed heavily during residency and fellowship, but as technological improvements are made in the implants and instruments, seldom has anyone sought to improve the way in which pre-op planning is performed. As trends have shown, patients today want individualized care, customized implants, and concierge medicine.
The recent introduction of 3-D-printed and patient-matched pedicle screw guides has modernized spine surgery planning and procedures. The process for this patient-matched approach provides for an efficient and effective technique that reduces radiation exposure and can save hospitals and health systems on expenditures for capital purchases, such as navigation systems or CT-scanning technology. In addition, surgeons are less reliant today on free-hand techniques than they once were.