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Does spinal stenosis go away after surgery?

It is possible that spinal stenosis can go away after surgery, but this often depends on the severity of the condition and the type of treatment that was performed. In some cases, such as with lumbar spinal stenosis, the condition may be successfully treated with a minimally-invasive surgery that only requires a small incision and can be completed on an outpatient basis.

This type of surgery can often provide long-term relief from the condition as it can address the root cause of the pain and allows for more freedom of movement. However, if the condition is more severe, or if traditional open surgery is required, it is possible that some of the symptoms may return over time.

Therefore, it is important to follow-up with your doctor after the surgery and work on any prescribed physical therapy or lifestyle changes to ensure the best possible outcome.

Does surgery cure spinal stenosis?

Surgery can be an effective treatment for spinal stenosis, however the success of surgery for this condition varies depending on the severity of the spinal stenosis and the type of surgery performed.

In some cases, surgery may be able to alleviate the symptoms of spinal stenosis and provide relief from pain and other symptoms. In other cases, if the spinal stenosis is severe, surgery may not be able to resolve the underlying issue and may need to be supplemented with other conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or lifestyle changes.

The types of surgery that can be used to treat spinal stenosis include open laminectomy, laminoplasty, and vertebral fusion. An open laminectomy is a procedure during which the surgeon removes small pieces of bone and ligament to provide more space in the spinal canal.

Laminoplasty is another type of surgery in which rings of bone in the vertebrae are partially cut, allowing them to move outward slightly and increase the size of the spinal canal. Vertebral fusion is another type of surgery used to treat spinal stenosis, during which the vertebrae in the affected area are stabilized by physically joining them together with screws, metal plates, and bone grafts.

If surgery is recommended for the treatment of spinal stenosis, the patient should discuss their treatment goals with their surgeon and understand any risks and benefits associated with the recommended procedure.

It is important to take into consideration any lifestyle changes or limitations that the surgery may cause, and be aware of any post-surgical rehabilitation that may be necessary. It is also important to remember that surgery may be successful in alleviating symptoms in some cases, but will not always resolve underlying issues with the spinal cord.

What is the success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis?

The exact success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis can vary depending on the individual and their circumstances. It is often difficult to make an accurate estimate of success, since people can experience varying levels of benefit and satisfaction with treatment.

Research suggests that surgery can be a successful treatment option for some people with spinal stenosis, with good outcomes typically seen in those who have visible signs of nerve compression or those who experience severe and increasing symptoms.

The overall reported success rate for spinal stenosis surgery often ranges from 60% to 80%. Successful treatment may involve improvement of symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness after healing.

Clinical studies suggest that most patients experience at least some symptom relief from surgery.

However, it’s important to note that surgery is not without risks, such as blood clots, infection, nerve injury, and complications from anesthesia. Additionally, even if surgery is successful in relieving symptoms, it cannot necessarily reverse the narrowing caused by spinal stenosis.

Therefore, it’s important to consult with a neurosurgeon to determine if surgery is the right choice for your particular situation.

How long does spinal stenosis surgery last?

Spinal stenosis surgery generally lasts anywhere between a couple of hours to several hours depending on the extent of the condition and the surgical procedure. Complex cases of spinal stenosis that require multiple dissection and reconstruction can take up to seven hours or longer.

The exact duration of spinal stenosis surgery can vary from person to person and is contingent upon the experience and skill of the surgeon, the severity of the condition, and whether one or more procedures are to be performed.

For example, if a patient has both cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis, the surgery will likely take longer than if only one level of spinal stenosis needs to be addressed. Alternatively, if a patient is only undergoing a laminectomy or laminoplasty to address their spinal stenosis, the procedure will likely take a few hours at the most.

Can you live a long normal life with spinal stenosis?

Yes, it is possible to live a long, normal life with spinal stenosis. Of course, this will depend on the severity of your condition, as well as how well you take care of yourself. In many cases, lifestyle modifications such as changes in activity levels, exercise, diet, and posture can significantly reduce symptoms and improve overall health.

There are also treatments available, such as pain medications and steroid injections, to further reduce symptoms. In more serious cases, surgery might be recommended to correct the spinal alignment and improve nerve function.

In any case, with proper care, spinal stenosis does not have to limit your ability to live a long and normal life.

What causes spinal stenosis to flare up?

Spinal stenosis is a medical condition where the spinal canal narrows, compressing and squeezing the nerve roots and spinal cord. When the spinal canal narrows, it causes the bones, ligaments and muscles that normally provide the spine with stability to narrow in size and press on the nerves.

This can lead to pain, stiffness, numbness, and tingling in the legs, arms, hands, and neck.

When spinal stenosis flares up, it often means that a person is experiencing an increase in their symptoms. Many factors can cause a flare-up of spinal stenosis. These can include:

1. Bad posture: Poor posture can put excessive pressure on the spine and exacerbate existing spinal stenosis.

2. Activities: Certain activities such as running, lifting heavy objects, or performing strenuous activities can put extra strain on the spine and cause a flare-up of symptoms.

3. Injury: Trauma or injury to the spine can cause a flare-up of symptoms associated with spinal stenosis.

4. Aging: Aging can cause disc degeneration, which can cause the spine to narrow over time and result in a flare-up of symptoms.

5. Spinal curvature: Poor posture or standing for too long can cause a misalignment in the spine, resulting in a flare-up of symptoms.

While spinal stenosis is a chronic medical condition, following a proper treatment plan and maintaining good posture can reduce the frequency of flare-ups. An experienced orthopedic spine specialist can advise on the best treatment for managing spinal stenosis and associated symptoms.

Is spinal stenosis permanent?

Unfortunately, spinal stenosis is often considered to be a permanent condition, meaning that it is not curable. However, this does not mean that the condition cannot be managed or treated. In fact, there are several treatment options available to help those suffering from spinal stenosis.

These options may include medication to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, physical therapy to help increase mobility and reduce discomfort, steroid injections to reduce inflammation and swelling, and in some cases, surgery to remove pressure from the spinal cord or nerves.

Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for spinal stenosis and each patient will need to determine the best course of treatment for their individual case.

What should you avoid doing if you have spinal stenosis?

If you have spinal stenosis, there are a few activities you should avoid doing in order to avoid aggravating your condition. These activities include lifting/carrying heavy objects, prolonged sitting, bending, twi sting, and activities that involve excessive stretching.

Additionally, you should avoid activities that jar your neck and back, such as running or jumping, as this can cause further damage to the spine. Generally, it is wise to consult with a medical professional before engaging in any strenuous activity.

Furthermore, one should avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these can hinder any treatment process and can lead to an increase in inflammation. Lastly, it is advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle and practice good posture to maintain healthy spinal health.

How do you know spinal stenosis is getting worse?

Generally, if you begin to notice an increase in pain in your lower back, buttocks, legs, or arms, accompanied by a decrease in mobility and numbness or tingling sensation in these areas, this could be an indicator that your spinal stenosis is worsening.

In addition, as the stenosis progresses, you may experience muscle weakness in your legs, sciatica, urinary or bowel incontinence, and an inability to stand up straight. If the compression of the spinal cord worsens, the nerve signals don’t transmit throughout the body properly, so the affected muscles and organs are unable to function normally.

Additionally, in severe cases, new problems may arise, such as paralysis or difficulty speaking. If you experience any of these symptoms, or become aware of an increase in your symptoms, it is important that you consult with your doctor immediately.

How long does it take to recover from spinal stenosis after surgery?

It usually takes around 4 to 6 weeks to recover from surgery for spinal stenosis. However, the length of recovery depends on the type of surgery, the severity of the condition, the overall health of the individual, and other factors.

During the initial post-operative period, it is common to experience pain, stiffness, and discomfort due to the surgery and the healing process. Physical therapy and medications may be prescribed to help reduce pain and manage symptoms during the healing process.

The recovery process usually begins at the time of surgery with rest and light activity, while gradually increasing movements, activities, and physical therapy as time passes. Recovery may involve visits to an orthopedic specialist or physical therapist to assess the healing process.

Many people with spinal stenosis will experience a gradual improvement of their symptoms as the spinal canal and nerve root become decompressed and the affected nerve root is relieved of pressure.

The overall recovery time for a spinal stenosis surgery varies from person to person, but physical therapy and rehabilitation is often necessary. It is important to follow all of the post-operative instructions from a healthcare professional for the best and safest outcome for recovering from spinal stenosis surgery.

What can I expect after spinal stenosis surgery?

Spinal stenosis surgery often yields immediate relief from pain and disability, however, recovery from the operation may take several weeks or months. After the surgery, your doctor will likely advise you to remain active and to perform physical therapy exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control your back movements.

You may also be asked to wear a brace or corset to support your back in between sessions. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help decrease swelling and inflammation after surgery.

In the weeks and months following the surgery, you should begin to see improvements in your mobility and strength. After several weeks, most people are able to walk farther, stand for longer periods of time, and experience declines in associated pain.

You should anticipate regular checkups with your doctor as you progress through recovery.

Ultimately, it is important to note that spinal stenosis surgery can provide relief from nerve pain, aid in restoring physical functioning, and even improve the overall quality of life for those who suffer from this condition.

Everyone’s recovery is different, so make sure to consult your doctor and adhere to their instructions during the postoperative healing period.

Can you fully recover from spinal stenosis?

Yes, it is possible to fully recover from spinal stenosis. The intensity of the recovery varies depending on the underlying cause of the spinal stenosis. In general, many patients are able to find relief from pain and other symptoms of spinal stenosis without the need for surgery.

Treatment options can include physical therapy, medications, lifestyle changes, and exercises to reduce the pressure on the spine. Depending on the severity of the condition, some patients may need to undergo surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve roots.

After surgery, many patients can return to their normal activities and may even experience full recovery if the underlying cause is properly addressed.


  1. The outcome of spinal decompression surgery 5 years on – PMC
  2. Spinal Stenosis Surgery | Types, Risks, Recovery
  3. Do I Need Surgery for Spinal Stenosis? – WebMD
  4. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Should I Have Surgery?
  5. Spinal Stenosis Surgery: Recovery – Verywell Health