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What is a Pediculectomy?


A pediculectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to relieve symptoms caused by a problem with a portion of the vertebrae called the pedicle. Each vertebra has two cylinder-shaped projections that extend from the back of the vertebral body, connecting the front and back parts of the vertebra. Changes to the discs between the vertebrae, either caused by degenerative disc disease or other spine conditions that affect the alignment of the spine, can alter the height of the pedicle and place pressure on the nerve roots that surround it. This can also happen if the pedicle fractures and causes the vertebrae to slip forward (spondylolisthesis). This can cause pain, numbness and weakness in the parts of the body along that nerve’s pathways.

A pediculectomy is often performed alongside other minimally invasive decompression procedures depending on your condition.

Back Pain Centers of America (BPC) offers patients minimally invasive back pain treatment options that have helped thousands get back the active and pain-free life they deserve. Call us today at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] to see if you’re a candidate for one of our cutting-edge procedures.

Regain your active lifestyle following pediculectomy procedure


Minimally invasive pediculectomy can provide immediate relief of your symptoms. The procedure used for pedicle surgery requires a very small incision and doesn’t disrupt the muscles so that recovery is much quicker than with traditional open spine surgery. This is an outpatient procedure so patients can go home the same day with minimal discomfort.

Conditions/Symptoms Treated

Pedicle surgery can be used to treat the symptoms that result from compression of a nerve root, including:

  • Localized pain
  • Pain that radiates to the shoulders, arms, buttocks, and legs
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms or legs
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Limited range of motion

The location of symptoms depends on which vertebrae are affected.


You will be given preparation instructions ahead of your pedicle surgery. Part of that preparation will require you to do the following:

  • Stop smoking – Smoking can slow healing and has been linked to degenerative changes in the spine. Therefore, you may be asked to quit smoking for a period before and after surgery.
  • Stop taking certain supplements and medications – Supplements and medications that increase the risk of bleeding must be avoided before surgery. You will be told which of your medications to stop taking and for how long.
  • Fast for 6-12 hours – You will be told exactly how long before your pedicle surgery to stop eating and drinking.
  • Arrange a ride – You will not be able to drive after your surgery and must arrange to have someone drop you off and pick you up on the day of surgery.

Failure to follow pre-surgical instructions may result in the postponement of your pediculectomy.


Pedicle surgery is performed through a tiny incision that measures approximately 1-inch in diameter. Thin tubes are inserted into the incision and special imaging is used to allow the surgeon to locate the damaged pedicle and remove portions of the pedicle that are pressing against the nerve and causing your symptoms.

After the pediculectomy, you will be moved to the recovery room where you will be monitored until your release.


You can expect some pain at the incision site for the first 2-3 days. The pain is manageable and relieved using pain medication. Applying ice to the area can also help relieve discomfort and swelling.

Physical therapy will be prescribed to help you regain your range of motion. Most patients can return to work in a week or two depending on their occupation. Your doctor will tell you when you can return to work and get back to certain activities.

Don’t delay relief. If pain from a spinal condition is interfering with your ability to do the things that you enjoy, BPC is ready to help you get your life back. Call us at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] so we can match you with one of our board-certified specialists who can provide the treatment you deserve.

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