Preparing for a spinal stenosis procedure
Before you begin to seriously consider spine surgery for spinal stenosis, there are some steps you should go through with your physician to make sure this is the appropriate treatment for your condition.
Many patients with spinal stenosis are able to find relief through nonsurgical methods of treatment, so it’s important to make sure you exhaust nonsurgical treatment options before turning to spinal stenosis surgery. By researching available therapies, you can be confident that you are making an informed decision about your spine care needs and the right approach to find lasting relief.
Questions to ask your physician
Your physician is a great resource for questions about your spinal stenosis procedure and if there are still any alternative options that may work for you.
Your doctor can help you understand what spinal stenosis does to the anatomy of your spine, what treatments are available and what lifestyle changes you can do to possibly lower your level of pain and symptoms caused by spinal stenosis. Because your doctor is familiar with your current lifestyle and medical history, he or she can recommend the most appropriate treatment for your needs.
Even after a recommendation is made, you should continue to research your options by asking your doctor these questions:
- What caused the condition?
- Could certain lifestyle changes such as losing weight or quitting smoking help relieve some of my symptoms?
- Are there any medications I could take? If your physician has only previously recommended over-the-counter medications, you may want to ask if there are any prescription drugs that could help relieve your symptoms.
- Are there any conservative treatments left for me to try?
These questions could not only help you find more information about your condition and available treatment options, but they could also tell your doctor that you are willing to explore more nonsurgical treatments before consenting to spine surgery.
Explore other treatment methods
There are some treatments that lie outside the medical mainstream, but are still pursued by patients who are seeking relief from conditions like spinal stenosis. If you do try any alternative therapies, it is still important to keep your doctor informed to make sure it is compatible with your existing care. Some examples of alternative treatments include:
- Chiropractic care
- Herbal supplements
- Massage therapy
Minimally invasive spinal stenosis surgery
If conservative and alternative treatments have been exhausted and surgery does become a serious consideration, it is important to explore all the options available to you. If you consult with a surgeon, be sure to ask questions about the procedure, as well as how to prepare for both the preoperative and postoperative process.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery that allows our patients to experience a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery time.^ In some cases, a minimally invasive decompression surgery or stabilization surgery is effective in relieving spinal stenosis pain. Both types of procedures are performed through a small incision and use techniques to spare the surrounding muscles.
To learn more about the advantages of Laser Spine Institute, or to find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive procedures, contact us today and request a free review* of your MRI.