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Lumbar Decompression

A lumbar decompression, also referred to as a laminectomy, is often performed as treatment for spinal stenosis, a condition in which excessive bone growth has caused narrowing of the spinal canal placing pressure on spinal nerves and resulting in pain of the lower limbs. A posterior approach is considered the safest and most appropriate.

Content Advisor

Dr. Howard Ginsberg, MD, FRCSC, PhD, BASc



This image series was done for a year 2 elective in advanced sequential illustration in the Biomedical Communications program at the University of Toronto–Mississauga.


An initial series of pencil sketches were done to establish the key narrative steps. The pencil sketches were revised in Adobe Photoshop over several iterations to experiment with visual effects.



The year 1 surgical illustration course is commonly considered to be one of the most challenging courses in the BMC program. Unsatisfied with what I had produced, I wanted to take on the challenge of trying again in my second year, and make something better.


Not only do I feel I achieved this, but the techniques and workflow I learned and refined have become the foundation for my professional work: making high-end 3D-animation-enhanced surgical teaching videos at TVASurg (Toronto Video Atlas of Surgery).

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