Spinal Stenosis occurs when the spinal canal is significantly narrowed, hindering function of the nervous system connected to the part of the spine experiencing stenosis. A wide variety of factors can cause this, such as the effects of aging, inherited traits, or injuries sustained in an accident. While the surgical procedures to remedy this problem are not particularly complicated, the diagnosis is, due to the variety of causes and symptoms, as well as the overlap with other conditions that may be experienced as similar to spinal stenosis. The very specific group of symptoms associated must be evaluated by an experienced medical professional such as the surgeons at Metropolitan Neurosurgery before an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Our specialist has thirty years of experience in surgical treatments for spinal stenosis and that experience has advised our approach to treatments. On principle, Metropolitan Neurosurgery employs only treatments that are proven to work rather than those that come and go as trends. The range of treatments available will vary depending on the severity and location of the stenosis, but the success rate of a procedure for spinal stenosis is high. People who meet the clinical criteria for spinal stenosis and have experienced symptoms for months to years will typically respond well to surgery and rarely need a fusion. If a patient does not display the proper symptom complex, surgery will not help. However, many of the same non-surgical treatments employed for spinal stenosis can, in fact, relieve symptoms of other, similar ailments.
The process for diagnosis is critical, as it determines whether or not a surgical procedure will be successful, and the doctors and staff of Metropolitan Neurosurgery will walk with you through diagnosis process in a caring and complete manner. The first step is a thorough review of one’s medical history and a careful discussion of the symptoms experienced. The next step is a physical examination of the spine, checking for external signs that might indicate spinal stenosis, such as injury or improper curvature. The final step is imaging, which is typically via Magnetic Resonance Imaging (an “MRI”) as that reveals more of the tissues implicated in stenosis. Only through a careful examination of all three of these things can a doctor properly diagnose spinal stenosis.
Performed by experienced surgeons, surgery for spinal stenosis is a fairly straightforward operation, rarely requiring more than two nights in the hospital and three to four weeks of recovery. The risks are as significant as any back surgery, and thus it is only advised when the proper symptom criteria are met. Even so, most doctors will not recommend surgery as the first course of action, but instead prescribe a regimen of physical therapy and/or injections, the common non-surgical approaches to the wellness of your back. With caring and compassionate medical attention drawing on years of experience, you can be assured your symptoms of spinal stenosis will find relief, thanks to the trusted doctors of Metropolitan Neurosurgery.