Spinal stenosis is a medical condition that occurs when the space in your spine narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. If you suffer from back and/or neck pain, numbness, and tingling or received a spinal stenosis diagnosis, you may want to know what treatment modalities your spine surgeon will employ to treat your condition.
Here’s information on the treatment options your spine surgeon in Colorado Springs, CO, will offer to treat your spinal stenosis.
Treatment of Spinal Stenosis
Choice of treatment for spinal stenosis vastly depends on the location of the stenosis and the severity of symptoms. Your spine surgeon will likely advise some self-care tips that you can do at home. If these fail to bring you adequate relief, your spine surgeon may recommend the following treatments.
Medications like NSAIDs are recommended for a short duration only to temporarily ease pain and discomfort. To ease chronic pain, antidepressants might also be advised that you can take at night. Anti-seizure drugs and opioids are also found to relieve pain caused by damaged nerves.
Stenosis can cause a pinched nerve to become swollen and irritated. Through epidural steroid injections, steroid medication is placed in the epidural space. Steroid injections can’t fix stenosis but can help reduce inflammation and pain.
For the procedure, your surgeon will position you in either a lying or sitting position. The area of treatment will be sterilized and numbed with an anesthetic. Fluoroscopy will guide the needle into the epidural space, and contrast dye may be used to confirm its placement.
Your spine surgeon will inject steroids, which may also have a saline solution to flush chemicals causing inflammation. You will be monitored for a few minutes before being allowed to go home and resume normal activities.
Besides providing epidural injections, your spine surgeon might advise you to participate in physical therapy to strengthen your back, legs, and abdomen. If you have spinal degeneration or weak stomach muscle, you can wear a lumber brace or corset during physical therapy. Physical therapy will involve stretching and cardiovascular exercises that will enhance your back’s flexibility and build up your endurance.
Non-surgical treatment can relieve pain but cannot restore spine function and correct stenosis. Surgery is your only way out if you have started to experience bladder and bowel problems and if your leg weakness becomes worse. Common surgeries for spinal stenosis include:
- Lumbar Laminectomy – Also referred to as lumbar decompression surgery, it involves removing the back part (lamina) of the affected vertebra, which creates more space and eases pressure on nerves. Sometimes, spinal fusion surgery is performed after to maintain spine strength.
- Spinal Fusion – Radiating nerve pain from spinal stenosis warrants spinal fusion surgery. This surgery can permanently fuse two vertebrae together. The vertebrae are held together with rods, hooks, wires, or screws until they naturally heal and grow together. This surgery is usually performed after a laminectomy.
The Best Spine Surgeons in Colorado Springs, CO
If you are contemplating undergoing spinal stenosis treatment and want to learn more about it, visit our spine surgeon at Front Range Neurosurgery. Our spinal surgeon has years of experience treating spinal conditions of all kinds and severity, including spinal stenosis.
Call today at (303) 790-1800 to set up an appointment, or fill out our online appointment form. You can contact us at one of our five locations – Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, and Colorado Springs.