There are two basic categories of spinal stenosis treatment. Treatment may be directed at symptom suppression or symptom cause correction. Conservative treatments are generally symptom suppression therapies, while symptom cause correction treatments are generally surgical. Treatment begins with the non-invasive conservative options and proceeds to more invasive ones if needed.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is more properly called spinal canal stenosis. The word stenosis is derived from the Greek word stenos, meaning narrow. Canal refers to the central vertebral canal which houses the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis literally means narrowing of the central vertebral canal housing the spinal cord. Central spinal canal stenosis is referred to by various names such as spinal stenosis, canal stenosis, or central stenosis. Foraminal stenosis refers to narrowing of the passages on each side of the vertebral column through which spinal nerves pass, en route to the body structure they innervate. Both spinal stenosis and foraminal stenosis may be caused by anything that narrows their structure. Example causes are bulging discs, herniated discs, osteophytes, and enlarged facet joints. Narrowed passageways leave less room for neural tissue. If narrowing progresses to the point at which the neural tissue is compressed, symptoms arise. Symptoms are usually pain, numbness, paresthesias (tingling feeling), and weakness.
In most instances, conservative treatments such as medication, physiotherapy, and rest are effective in relieving symptoms, although occasionally they are not. In this case, surgical treatment modalities are indicated. The types of surgeries which may be employed are:
- Disc removal
- Removal of spinal bone
- Spinal fusion
- Artificial disc replacement surgery
With considerable effort, experts at Laser Spine Institute (LSI), have fully developed an alternative to traditional, open spine operations like the ones listed above. Our practice is focused exclusively on endoscopic technology, an innovative medical approach that allows our surgeons to open narrowed areas of the spinal column on an outpatient basis. Please call Laser Spine Institute to learn more about our minimally invasive endoscopic procedures. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan.