Sublaminar Decompression: A New Technique for Spinal Canal Decompression in the Treatment of Stenosis in Degenerative Spinal Conditions

Clin Spine Surg. 2017 Feb;30(1):14-19. doi: 10.1097/BSD.0000000000000452.


Study design: Technical report and case illustration.

Objective: To review the rationale and steps for a sublaminar decompression in the setting of adult deformity surgery and in degenerative spondylosis.

Summary of background data: Several variations of lumbar laminotomy and posterior decompressions have been reported, although these are primarily in the setting of isolated lumbar stenosis, and often focus on treatment of central stenosis.

Materials and methods: Our operative technique is illustrated and 1 patient with a 1-year follow-up is presented to further describe this surgical approach.

Results and surgical techniques: The patient underwent a lumbar decompression and fusion procedure. A sublaminar decompression with bilateral foraminotomies was performed at L4-L5, combined with instrumented posterior fusion.

Conclusions: The presented sublaminar decompression technique allows for adequate decompression of the central canal, lateral recess, and neural foramina while providing maximum bone surface area for posterolateral as well as posterior fusion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laminectomy / methods*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedicle Screws
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Stenosis / etiology
  • Spinal Stenosis / surgery*
  • Spondylosis / complications
  • Spondylosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome