Spinal stenosis treatment in the elderly
Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition that becomes more prevalent as the spine ages and weakens over time.
Over time, the spine may begin to wear down due to age, weight gain and repetitive motion. This can lead to many types of degenerative conditions in the spine, such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis and degenerative scoliosis.
As the spinal canal narrows (spinal stenosis), the nerve roots within the spinal canal may become pinched. This nerve compression can result in severe pain, especially when sitting, standing or performing certain activities. When developed in the lumbar spine (lower back), spinal stenosis can limit mobility and cause severe pain.
Conservative treatment methods
Many patients find relief from spinal stenosis with a series of conservative, nonsurgical treatments. However, the difficulty with some conservative treatments for elderly patients is twofold:
- Elderly patients may not have the muscle strength needed for physical therapy to effectively relieve pressure on the pinched nerve.
- Pain medication may interfere with current medications an elderly patient is already taking.
There are several conservative methods of spinal stenosis treatments that may be a good option for your needs. Your physician will check your medical history and current medications to make sure these treatment options work best for your needs:
- Over-the-counter analgesics
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Prescription narcotics
- Nerve block injections
- Low-impact exercise and stretching
Surgical treatment methods Some patients may require spine surgery if conservative treatment has not provided effective pain relief.
If this is your option, consider the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute to help treat your spinal stenosis. We offer minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to treat the degenerative spine conditions that cause spinal stenosis, though our minimally invasive decompression surgery is often the most common treatment recommendation for our patients.
Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ This is because our procedures offer a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication than traditional open spine surgery, allowing our patients to return to their daily lives faster.
Surgical spinal stenosis treatment in the form of minimally invasive procedures might be indicated for an elderly individual whose symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive spine procedures that are performed on an outpatient basis. These safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery also have a shorter recovery time^ compared to open surgery. To learn more, or to find out if you are a candidate for our procedures, contact us and we will review* your MRI report at no cost.