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When is canal stenosis surgery the best option?

Many people with canal stenosis find it difficult to determine when — or even if — they should consider surgery for their condition. While there is no broad rule of thumb that works for everyone, most physicians recommend that their patients use conservative (nonsurgical) therapies for as long as they can. Any surgery — even a minimally invasive procedure — should be approached with a cautious mindset, as many people who have canal stenosis are able to manage their symptoms without undergoing surgery.

With that said, symptom management is the sole goal of conservative treatment, which includes options such as medication and physical therapy. Nonsurgical therapies do not actually treat the underlying issue. If a physician deems it necessary to decompress a nerve root or a section of the spinal cord that has been pinched by the narrowing of the spinal canal, surgery may be necessary.

When to consult a surgeon

Consider the following questions. If you can answer any of them with a yes, it may be time to talk with a surgeon about canal stenosis surgery:

  • Have your symptoms interfered with your ability to work, study or complete your typical daily activities?
  • Have your symptoms stayed the same or worsened since beginning treatment?
  • Have you tried several conservative therapies without achieving the results you were looking for?

How surgery can help

There are several forms of canal stenosis surgery. In some cases, a surgeon might remove a disc and corresponding vertebrae to help alleviate spinal narrowing, and in others, a surgeon might remove part of the lamina (the roof of the spinal canal) to create more space. Yet another option is the removal of a herniated or torn disc, if such a condition is compressing the patient’s spinal canal.

Traditionally, these procedures are performed as open neck or back operations, although USA Spine Care offers minimally invasive alternatives that are often the clinically appropriate first choice.^ With a patient recommendation score of 98 out of 100,^ USA Spine Care has helped thousands of patients with canal stenosis find relief from persistent symptoms, helping them get back to their normal lives. To find out if you are an eligible candidate for one of our minimally invasive surgeries, contact USA Spine Care today.

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