For workers comp low back pain, lumbar spine surgery generally comes only after exhaustion of conservative treatment. An injured should not make a medical decision for or against surgery based on how they think it will affect their workers compensation case. Lawyers can advise clients on legal implications of treatment decisions, but the decisions should be left to the client in consultation with his or her medical professionals. There are many different operations for back pain. The goal of nearly all spine operations is to remove pressure from the nerves of the spine, stop excessive motion between two or more vertebrae, or both. The type of surgery that is best depends on a patient’s conditions and symptoms.


The lamina is the covering layer of the bony ring of the spinal canal. It forms a roof-like structure over the back of the spinal column. When the nerves in the spinal canal are being squeezed by a herniated disc or from bone spurs pushing into the canal, a laminectomy removes part or all of the lamina to release pressure on the spinal nerves.


When the intervertebral disc has ruptured, the portion that has ruptured into the spinal canal may put pressure on the nerve roots. This may cause pain, weakness, and numbness that radiates into one or both legs. The operation to remove the portion of the disc that is pressing on the nerve roots is called a discectomy. This operation is performed through an incision in the low back immediately over the disc that has ruptured.

Many spine surgeons now perform discectomy procedures that require only small incisions in the low back (minimally invasive). The advantage of these minimally invasive procedures is less damage to the muscles of the back and a quicker recovery. Many surgeons are now performing minimally invasive discectomy as an outpatient procedure.

Lumbar Fusion

When there is excessive motion between two or more vertebrae, the excess motion can cause both mechanical pain and irritation of the nerves of the lumbar spine. In this case some type of spinal fusion is usually recommended. The goal of a spinal fusion is to force two or more vertebrae to grow together, or fuse, into one bone. A solid fusion between two vertebrae stops the movement between the two bones. The pain is reduced because the fusion reduces the constant irritation and inflammation of the nerve roots. There are many different types of spinal fusions.

McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin get the best workers comp results with permanent work restrictions, regardless of whether there was surgery. For free consultation, call us to find out if we can help with your workers comp low back pain case.