Spinal Stenosis Treatments

Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Burlington, VT

At Fletcher Allen, we offer a full range of options to treat spinal stenosis. Whenever possible we work with patients to provide the most minimally invasive approach possible, with the goal of reducing risk and improving quality of life.

Spinal Stenosis treatment options at Fletcher Allen include:

  • Physical therapy – Licensed physical therapists with Fletcher Allen’s rehabilitative therapy services are committed to helping you regain your maximum level of function and independence.
  • Medications, including:
    • Pain and anti-inflammatory pills
    • Anti-inflammatory injections 
  • Surgery, including:
    • Laminectomy – A procedure where a major part of the spinal bone – called the lamina – is removed. This turns the spinal canal from an “O” shape into an open-ended shape, creating more room in the canal. A related procedure known as laminotomy involves making a small hole in the lamina, and removing only a small portion of bone. 
    • Laminoplasty – This procedure enlarges the width of the spinal canal without removing the lamina. One or both sides of the lamina are cut away from the vertebrae. The surgeon creates a flap of bone that can be held open with metal fasteners, to allow more room in the spinal canal. This keeps the canal permanently widened. 
    • Foraminotomy – With this procedure, neurosurgeons enlarge the passageway surrounding a spinal nerve root – relieving pressure on the root that can cause inflammation and pain. The surgeon will remove any bone spurs, thickened ligaments or herniated disk tissue. This leaves more space for the nerve root. 
    • Medial Facetectomy – A procedure that involves removing part of the facet – a bony structure in the spinal canal. This increases space in the canal and relieves pressure on the spinal nerves. 
    • Discectomy - A common spine surgery that involves removing a portion of a disc that is putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. 
    • Interspinous Process Decompression – This minimally invasive procedure involves implanting a special device between two bones (spinous processes) located in the spine. The implant keeps the space between the two bones open, relieving pressure on the nerves. The goal is to allow patients to maintain their normal posture and avoid having to lean forward to relieve pain.
    • Spinal Fusion - A procedure that involves joining together two or more vertebrae into a single bone. Metal screws and rods are typically used to stabilize the vertebrae as the bone heals. The goal is to stop motion at the part of the bone that causes pain. 
    • Anterior Interbody Fusion – A type of spinal fusion where surgeons approach the spine from the front (anterior) of the spine. It involves removing a spinal disc, usually from the lower or lumbar spine. Surgeons then insert a bone graft at the place where the disc was removed, in between two vertebrae. The goal is for the vertebrae to grow together into a solid bone.

Robotic Surgery for the Spine

Robotic surgery for the spine uses an endoscope with a tiny camera on the end, inserted through a small incision in the skin. This gives neurosurgeons an inside view of the affected area of the spine. Microsurgical instruments are guided to the area to repair the damage or remove tissue. Robotic surgery is minimally invasive spine surgery and carries less risk than open spine surgery as well as other benefits, including:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less blood loss
  • Less pain
  • Reduced harm to muscles
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery
  • Reduced scar tissue

Our neurosurgeons perform the following robotic surgeries or minimally invasive procedures: 

  • Discectomy
  • Fusion
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminoplasty
  • Foraminotomy
  • Facetectomy

Learn more about diagnosis for spinal stenosis.

Find a Fletcher Allen Health Care physician or call 802-847-4590.