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Traditional open back surgery for spinal stenosis treatment

Spinal stenosis describes the narrowing of the spinal canal and other nerve pathways in the spinal column. The spinal canal protects the spinal cord as it travels from the brain and branches out to the body through small openings called foramina. When the spinal canal narrows, it can cause painful nerve compression.

Common symptoms of spinal stenosis include chronic pain in the neck or lower back as well as radiating symptoms like tingling or numbness. If left untreated, spinal stenosis can worsen and prevent you from doing your daily activities, such as standing for lengths of time, walking, and/or bending.

If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and you have not found any relief from conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy or chiropractic care, surgical treatment to help relieve your chronic pain can become a serious consideration.

Traditional open back surgery for spinal stenosis

When most people consider surgery for spinal stenosis, they think about traditional open back surgery. Open back surgery is typically performed in the hospital and requires several days of postoperative hospitalization for recovery. The total recovery time is usually six months to a year.

During open back surgery or traditional back surgery, a long incision is made and cut through the muscles and soft tissues to access the affected part of the spine. The surgeon then removes any bone matter or tissue causing nerve or spinal cord pressure. If necessary, an implant will be inserted to stabilize the spine if a significant amount of bone matter, disc material or other tissue was removed. This is considered a fusion surgery.

Minimally invasive alternatives

At USA Spine Care, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery with our minimally invasive spine surgery.^ We perform two main types of procedures: minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgeries

Both surgeries are performed through a small incision. Because our surgeons take a muscle-sparing approach, we’re able to offer a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.^ A few of our most common minimally invasive surgeries for spinal stenosis include:

Consult your doctor to determine the cause of your spinal stenosis and the best conservative treatment options available for your condition. However, if weeks or months of conservative nonsurgical treatments have been unable to provide you with pain relief, contact USA Spine Care today.

Ask for your free MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

Learn more today

If you're living with spinal stenosis in the upper spine and searching for relief, reach out to USA Spine Care for help. Our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to helping people develop the right care plan to  reach treatment goals and achieve lasting relief.

Contact us today to learn more. Call toll free 1-866-249-1627.

Spinal Stenosis "Quick Answers"

Depending on the region and severity Spinal stenosis feels like tingling, burning and/or weakness in the hands, arms, neck, lower back or legs. It may also feel like a radiating pain or shooting shock-like pain. Read more in the links below: Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Overview Defining Spinal Stenosis Researching Spinal Stenosis Learning About Back Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Pathophysiology
The types of spinal stenosis are region based and consist of cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back) and lumbar or lower back. In addition, foraminal stenosis is the narrowing of the foramen. Read more in the links below: Spinal Stenosis of the Neck Cervical Stenosis - Basic Facts Neck Stenosis Causes Neck Stenosis Treatment Central Canal Stenosis Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis in the Back
Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition, most often located in the Lumbar spine, may be caused by degeneration of the spine, wear and tear, sports injury, & collapsing discs. Read more in the links below. What Causes Spinal Stenosis? Obesity May Lead to a Stenosis Diagnosis Age and its Role in the Development of Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Causes Identifying Common Causes From Birth Defects to Getting Older Degenerative Conditions Car Accident Injuries
The symptoms of spinal stenosis include tingling or numbness in the extremities, pain and weakness in the neck, back and/or legs. In severe cases bladder, bowel dysfunction/continence. Learn more in the links below: What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis? Spinal Stenosis Symptoms Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis What Should I Do If I Think I Have Spinal Stenosis? Spinal Stenosis and Hand Pain Recognizing Spinal Stenosis Have You Been Diagnosed? About Your Diagnosis Diagnostic Process Helping Your Physician How a Diagnosis Is Made Arriving at a Diagnosis
Physician specialties that treat spinal stenosis include: Pain management & rehabilitation physicians, spine surgeons, orthopedic specialists & neurosurgeons. Read more about these specialties in the links below: Doctors Who Treat Spinal Stenosis Spinal Decompression Doctors
Patients can expect recovery to last 4-6 weeks in most cases (depending on the complexity of your condition). People who choose minimally invasive spine surgery recover faster and get back to work sooner than those who choose open back surgery. Read more in the links below: Recovery After a Procedure What to Expect Recovery Times

  • Problems from anesthesia.
  • A deep infection in the surgical wound.
  • A skin infection.
  • Blood clots.
  • Nerve injury, including weakness, numbness, or paralysis.
  • Tears in the fibrous tissue that covers the spinal cord and the nerve near the spinal cord. These tears may require more surgery.
  • Trouble passing urine, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Long-term (chronic) pain, which happens after surgery in some cases.
  • The chance that the surgery won't relieve your symptoms. And even if you get better with surgery, there is a chance that you may get new symptoms in the future.
  • Death from problems caused by surgery, but this is rare.

Read more in the links below: Overview of Risk Factors Most Common Risk Factors Obesity & Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis & Arthritis Treating Elderly Patients

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