Do you need surgery for severe spinal stenosis?

Most patients with cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical treatments (such as medication), so you may not need spine surgery. However, there are situations when you may want to go ahead with spine surgery.

How serious is spinal stenosis surgery?

All surgery has some risks, such as bleeding, infection, and risks from anesthesia. Risks from surgery for spinal stenosis include damage to the nerves, tissue tears, chronic pain, and trouble passing urine. You may not be able to go back to all of your normal activities for at least several months.

Will I end up in a wheelchair with spinal stenosis?

The symptoms are often so gradual, that patients seek medical attention very late in the course of this condition. Patients may be so disabled and weak that they require the use of a wheelchair for mobility. In rare instances, severe spinal stenosis can cause paraplegia and/or bowel/bladder incontinence.

Is spinal stenosis a crippling disease?

Depending on its severity, untreated stenosis can become debilitating or even fatal. Mild cases of spinal stenosis can be treated through symptom management. For severe cases, especially those that affect quality of life or the nervous system, doctors might recommend surgery.

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Does spinal stenosis hurt all the time?

Spinal stenosis is generally not progressive. The pain tends to come and go, but it usually does not progress with time. The natural history with spinal stenosis, in the majority of patients, is that of episodic periods of pain and dysfunction.

Can you live a normal life with spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can’t be cured but responds to treatment

“The symptoms of spinal stenosis typically respond to conservative treatments, including physical therapy and injections.” Dr. Hennenhoefer says you can live a normal life with a spinal stenosis diagnosis and can work on improving your mobility and comfort.

Does spinal stenosis shorten your life?

Answer: Yes, you do have to live with it for the rest of your life. However, many patients with spinal stenosis live life in the absence of pain or with minimal symptoms.

How long is hospital stay after spinal stenosis surgery?

A hospital stay of 1 to 4 days is typically required following a lumbar laminectomy surgery. During this period, the patient is monitored by the hospital staff for any complications. Typically, a physical therapist works with the patient during the hospital stay to help with a guided rehabilitation program.

How does spinal stenosis affect bowel movements?

Lumbar spinal stenosis, a condition characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal in your lower back, can also cause back pain, weakness or numbness in your legs, and loss of bowel or bladder control.

Can you walk after spinal stenosis surgery?

Patients are typically allowed to walk up and down stairs after spinal surgery, but this is usually done slowly and under supervision the first few times to make sure that the patient is safe. Older patients may have more difficulty with stairs after larger surgeries.

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Is stenosis a disability?

Fortunately, lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the few back conditions recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as an official impairment listing, meaning that those with documented cases of severe lumbar spinal stenosis are automatically granted disability benefits – if you can meet the SSA’s tough …

How do you fix spinal stenosis without surgery?

Nonsurgical Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

  1. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—commonly called NSAIDs—relieve pain by reducing inflammation of nerve roots and spine joints, thereby creating more space in the spinal canal. …
  2. Corticosteroids. …
  3. Neuroleptics.

Is walking bad for spinal stenosis?

Walking is a suitable exercise for you if you have spinal stenosis. It is low-impact, and you can easily vary the pace as needed. Consider a daily walk (perhaps on your lunch break or as soon as you get home).

Your podiatrist