In most cases, a spinal stenosis operation is considered the treatment of last resort when you have not found relief through nonsurgical means. A large number of patients suffering from painful symptoms caused by stenosis are actually able to get effective treatment from more conservative methods. But when other options have been exhausted, surgery is sometimes needed to treat the source of the pain.
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of spinal nerve pathways that can cause chronic pain if a nerve becomes compressed. This narrowing is usually a direct result of a degenerative spine condition, which can occur from natural age-related wear and tear.
Here are a few examples of the conditions that can lead to spinal stenosis:
Bulging or herniated discs
Bone spurs from arthritis
When is a spinal stenosis operation necessary?
Spinal stenosis does not always cause symptoms; in fact the condition can go undiagnosed for a long time if nerve tissue does not become compressed or irritated. Only when the source of narrowing — such as a bone spur or herniated disc — interferes with the spinal cord or a nerve root will disruptive local or radiating symptoms occur.
If you and your physician have tried weeks and months of nonsurgical methods like rest, medication, hot/cold compression or physical therapy, and these treatments haven’t brought relief needed for an acceptable quality of life, surgery may then be considered. The goal of a spinal stenosis operation is to remove the source of narrowing and decompress the nerve tissue that is causing painful symptoms. Traditionally, these types of procedures have required a large incision to access the spine, resulting in muscle disruption, hospitalization, blood loss and a long rehabilitation.
At USA Spine Care, we offer a number of minimally invasive procedures that can help you find relief from neck or back pain in an outpatient setting. Our procedures involve a less than 1-inch incision and other muscle-sparing techniques that lead to less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open spine surgery.
Contact us today for a no-cost review of your MRI* to learn whether you’re a potential candidate for a minimally invasive spinal stenosis operation.
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.
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 ProcedureWhat to ExpectRecovery Times
Problems from anesthesia.
A deep infection in the surgical wound.
A skin infection.
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.
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^Results are typical, but not guaranteed, each patients experience with spine surgery will differ.
For more information, visit usaspinecare.com/results. The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to serve as a replacement for a medical diagnosis.
*Our MRI review is an informational review of the MRI report that you provide to us and is not a form of diagnosis. A diagnosis and a final determination of whether you may benefit from treatment at USA Spine Care can only be made after you have been physically examined by our medical professionals at USA Spine Care. The MRI review has no value and will not be billed.