Decompression surgeries are the most common surgical treatments for spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spinal canal. If the patient's back pain is caused by nerve compression due to the compression or swelling of certain tissue, oftentimes removing or widening the problematic tissue will relieve the patient’s pain.

Foraminotomy, laminotomy and laminectomy are all types of decompression surgeries. These procedures all involve removing different pieces of the vertebra in order to widen passageways and decompress nerves. Each procedure focuses on a different part of the spinal anatomy, and the exact location of the source of the pain will determine which surgery is to be used in each case.

These procedures may be used to treat other conditions that causes nerve compression, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, bone spurs, or spondylosis.


Foramina are passageways in the vertebrae which nerves pass through. The nerves are attached at the spinal column, extend through gaps in the vertebrae, and radiate out to the rest of the body. Pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots can lead to nerve compression, one of many sources of back pain.

During the procedure, the surgeon removes pieces of bone and tissue in the passageway and widens it, relieving the pressure on the nerve. It may be performed as open surgery, as microsurgery or via endoscopy.

Laminotomy and laminectomy

The lamina is the bony plate surrounding the spinal cord. In a laminotomy, part of the bone is removed in order to create a wider passage. In a laminectomy, the surgeon removes the entire piece.

The surgeon may remove all or part of the lamina if it is the lamina itself creating pressure and causing compression of the nerve, or in order to better access another part of the spine which is causing the pain, such as a herniated disc.

Non-surgical options and conservative spine treatment are always a first resort to treating back pain. If conservative treatments aren’t working, however, and the patient’s pain remains or their condition gets worse, it may be time to consider surgery. Contact Premier Healthcare to find out more about spine surgery in Germany.