This Blog Covers:
- Spinal stenosis is a common condition for individuals over the age of 60, and it causes a number of symptoms including back pain, cramping, numbness, and weakness in the legs.
- This condition is most common in the lumbar spine (low back), and it develops when the spinal canal narrows from natural wear and tear to spinal discs.
- The spine specialists at American Spine explain when patients should consider surgery for their spinal stenosis.
Back pain is a symptom that most individuals over the age of 50 consider a” side effect” of aging. Although conditions like spinal stenosis are, in some respect, a health issue that comes with age, it’s imperative patients understand they do not have to live in constant pain. Moreover, there are many spine and pain management physicians who administer highly advanced, minimally invasive treatment options that are cost-effective and long lasting.
Spinal stenosis is a unique condition because it is not progressive, but it causes pain that may be episodic and disabling. Additionally, it is not a condition that requires urgent care. That doesn’t mean having a surgery or seeking treatment sooner doesn’t improve symptoms, it does, but there is no particular rush for patients to have a corrective procedure.
Of course, that applies to patients who don’t mind living in chronic pain. For patients fed up with their spinal stenosis pain symptoms, interventional pain care and/or minimally invasive surgery can provide significant relief. Before considering surgery, a physician will first perform a physical examination and run diagnostic tests.
Mild to moderate cases of spinal stenosis may benefit most from interventional pain care such as steroid injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, and TENS units. Your physician will administer those treatments before suggesting a surgical intervention. These therapies can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on the patient’s symptoms and disease state.
Should these treatments fail to work initially or over time, a physician may then recommend a minimally invasive surgery. An endoscopic decompression or endoscopic laminotomy may be performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.
So, to answer the question, “when should I consider surgery for spinal stenosis?” we say this: it depends on your individual case. If you’re suffering from pain that does not get better with the above-mentioned treatment options, your American Spine physician will walk you through your other treatment options.
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.