Spinal decompression and stabilisation

Spinal decompression and stabilisation

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This image is part of the sequence Wallis ligament and spinal decompression surgery

Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Spinal decompression and stabilisation surgery. Image 5 of 8. Patient's back opened during surgery on the spine. Part of the supraspinal ligament (centre) has been removed in order to access the vertebrae below. This patient has spinal stenosis, where a narrowing has put pressure on the spinal cord. The surgery will remove parts of the lumbar vertebrae to relieve the pressure (decompression), and also insert a Wallis ligament implant. The Wallis ligament is a dynamic stabiliser. It prevents excess movement of the spinal segments at fault, whilst still allowing natural movements. The implant is inserted between the spinous processes of two adjoining vertebrae to hold them apart.

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