What I Should Know Before a Spinal Stenosis Surgery?

Q:
What I should know before a spinal stenosis surgery?

A:
Most patients with cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical treatments such as medication, so you may not need spine surgery. However, there are situations when you may want to go ahead with spine surgery:

  • You’ve been in severe pain for a lengthy period of time.
  • You’re experiencing radiculopathy, which is a medical term used to describe pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs.
  • You’ve lost sensation in your arms or legs.
  • You’ve tried non-surgical treatments and they haven’t been successful.
  • You have decreased motor strength in your arms or legs.
  • You’ve lost bowel or bladder control (eg, cauda equina syndrome).

One main goal of spinal stenosis surgery in your neck or low back is to free up area for your spinal cord and/or the nerve roots. That’s called decompression. By giving your spinal cord and nerve roots more space to pass through, your spine surgeon hopes to decrease your pain from nerve inflammation.

Another goal of spinal stenosis surgery is to increase your motor strength in your arms or legs. If you’ve lost sensation in your arms or legs, your surgeon also hopes to restore that.

If you are concerned about a spinal stenosis surgery, call your health care provider for advice and reassurance.

Keyword: back surgery spinal stenosis; spinal stenosis back surgery

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.