Five tips before undergoing canal stenosis surgery

Canal stenosis is a common back problem that is typically caused by the aging process. Osteoarthritis, deterioration of the spinal discs and thickening of the ligaments can all contribute to narrowing of the spinal canal.

What is canal stenosis?

Canal stenosis happens when the size of the central vertebral column that holds the spinal cord decreases and becomes narrower than it should be. Spinal narrowing can be caused by overuse of the neck, the aging process, an inherited condition, injury or trauma.

Five tips before undergoing canal stenosis surgery

  1. Try conservative treatment options first. For most people suffering from canal stenosis, conservative treatment options are able to provide symptom control. Conservative treatment includes rest, physical therapy, heat and ice therapy, exercise, pain medication and steroid injections.
  2. Consider lifestyle modification. There are modifications to your lifestyle that you can make before or after canal stenosis surgery to help improve your overall health and the health of your spine. It is recommended that you quit smoking completely, limit the amount of alcohol you consume and lose excess weight to attain a healthy body weight.
  3. Discuss the differences between traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive surgery. Before undergoing canal stenosis surgery, make sure you have fully considered the different surgical options available. Canal stenosis surgery can be performed as traditional open spine surgery or as minimally invasive spine surgery. Minimally invasive spine surgery carries fewer risks and offers a much shorter recovery period.
  4. Participate in physical therapy and exercise regularly. Regularly participate in physical therapy as prescribed by your physician. A physical therapist will make sure you are performing exercises and stretching to strengthen your core muscles and increase your range of motion. A physical therapist can also help to ensure that you are in good physical condition before undergoing canal stenosis surgery.
  5. Set up a support network for recovery and rehabilitation. Once you have scheduled surgery, plan out your recovery. Make sure you have someone set to pick you up and take you home after surgery. Have friends or family members take turns help with house chores and cooking or set up services to deliver food and take care of chores. Stock up on reading material and good televisions shows so you are comfortable during the recovery period. Make sure you have comfortable athletic shoes and clothing so you can slowly re-incorporate exercise into your daily life and participate in physical therapy, according to your surgeon’s instructions.

Contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost MRI review* so we can determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive surgeries. We offer a streamlined patient experience allowing you to return to your life and the things you enjoy as quickly as possible. Find out more about canal stenosis surgery and how Laser Spine Institute can help relieve your pain.