Preparing for a spinal stenosis procedure

Before you agree to undergo spine surgery for spinal stenosis, there are a series of steps you should walk 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 for you to work closely with your physician to make sure you exhaust all nonsurgical treatment options before turning to spinal stenosis surgery. By researching all treatment options, you can be confident that you are making an informed decision about your spine care needs and your best approach to find pain relief.

Questions to ask your physician

Your physician is a great resource for you to ask questions about your spinal stenosis procedure and if there are any alternative options to fit your needs.

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 physician is familiar with your current lifestyle and your medical history, he or she can recommend the most appropriate treatment for your needs.

Even after your physician makes a recommendation, you should continue to research your options by asking your doctor these questions:

  • What caused the condition?
  • Could certain lifestyle changes (e.g., losing weight, quitting smoking) help alleviate 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 a few treatment options that lie outside of the normal range of conservative therapies. These treatments are called alternative therapies, and can include the following options:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic care
  • Herbal supplements
  • Massage therapy

These pain relief methods can be added to your conservative treatment to help alleviate your symptoms faster so you can get back to your normal life.

Consenting to the procedure

After you’ve exhausted all conservative and alternative treatments and you are still in pain, you should consider spinal stenosis surgery.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer alternative to traditional open back surgery that allows patients to experience effective results, 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 do not disrupt the surrounding muscles.

To learn more about the advantages of Laser Spine Institute, or to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures, contact us today and request a no-cost review* of your MRI report.

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