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How invasive is spinal stenosis surgery?

Spinal stenosis surgery is generally considered to be an invasive procedure. Depending on the type of spinal stenosis, the surgery may involve either an open incision in the back or a minimally invasive approach.

For open spinal stenosis surgery, the surgeon will typically make an incision in the back and then cut away part of the affected vertebra. This will allow the surgeon to access the affected area. The surgeon may then insert screws or rods to stabilize the vertebra to reduce the vertebral movement.

In addition, the surgeon may remove some of the affected tissue or bone to reduce pressure on the spinal cord and the nearby nerves. After the procedure, the incision in the back is usually sewn and may require the use of a cast.

In contrast, minimally invasive spine surgery is less invasive than open surgery. It involves making only tiny incisions and inserting small instruments, such as a scope, to access the affected area.

The surgeon will generally use small technology to remove any damaged or impacted tissue, which can help reduce inflammation and improve pain.

Regardless of the type of surgery performed, it is important to note that spinal stenosis surgery is an invasive procedure that carries some risk of complications, such as infection. It is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits associated with spinal stenosis surgery to determine if it is the best option for you.

Is spinal stenosis a serious surgery?

Spinal stenosis is a serious medical condition that requires timely diagnosis and treatment. In some cases, surgery is the best option for managing the condition. Although spinal stenosis surgery can be a complicated and intensive procedure, it can be important for improving quality of life and reducing symptoms of the condition.

The surgery can entail removing excess tissue or bone matter from the spine and/or realigning the spinal vertebrae to create adequate space for neural tissue. A successful spinal stenosis surgery can be life-changing for those who have experienced pain, discomfort, and/or other limitations due to the condition.

It is important to be aware of the risks that come with such a serious surgery, including infection, nerve damage, blood loss, and more. Working with a trusted physician, however, can help ensure that the benefits of spinal stenosis surgery outweigh any potential risks.

What is the success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis?

The success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis depends on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the type of surgery performed, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s experience and skill.

The most common surgical treatments for spinal stenosis include laminectomy, foraminotomy, and spinal fusion.

In general, the success rate for surgery for spinal stenosis is reported to range from 50%-90%. Studies using outcomes-based criteria have reported success rates between 60%-80%. Studies using satisfaction-based criteria have reported success rates between 70%-90%.

Furthermore, studies have suggested that the success rates of surgery for spinal stenosis are higher in patients with milder, or earlier-stage, disease.

Ultimately, the success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis is influenced by important individualized factors, such as the severity of the condition and the skill of the surgeon. It is important that patients discuss their individual circumstances with their physician to understand their treatment options, risks, and possible benefits.

Is surgery necessary for spinal stenosis?

Whether surgery is necessary for spinal stenosis depends on the severity of the condition and the individual’s symptoms. For mild cases of spinal stenosis, surgery may not be necessary. In these cases, physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications may be enough to alleviate symptoms.

For more severe cases of spinal stenosis, invasive surgery may be recommended. Surgery may involve removing bone spurs and other soft tissue that is pressing into the spinal cord or nerves. Depending on the severity, surgery can involve the insertion of a spacer to widen the spinal canal and relieve pressure on the nerves.

It can also involve cutting out bone spurs, fusion of spinal bones (or vertebrae) together with screws, and/or the insertion of metal rods and plates to stabilize the vertebrae. Surgery can involve one or more of these procedures, depending on the individual’s needs.

What happens if you let spinal stenosis go untreated?

If you let spinal stenosis go untreated, there are a range of symptoms and complications that may occur. As the spinal cord and/or nerve roots become compressed, communication between your brain and body is interrupted, leading to issues that can worsen over time.

The most common symptom of untreated spinal stenosis is back pain. It may start as an ache that worsens with activity, or be sudden and intense. As the stenosis progresses, pain may spread to the legs and arms.

Other symptoms include numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and limited mobility.

If left untreated, spinal stenosis can lead to more serious complications, such as paralysis, incontinence, and organ damage. In extreme cases, it can even require surgery to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots and restore proper function.

It is important to speak to a healthcare professional if you are experiencing any symptoms of spinal stenosis, to rule out other causes or to begin treatment before it becomes a more serious issue.

How long should you use a walker after back surgery?

The amount of time that you should use a walker after back surgery can vary greatly depending on the type and extent of the surgery. In general, the use of a walker is typically recommended for 4-6 weeks following the surgery; however, it can be used for a longer period if necessary.

After 4-6 weeks, you should slowly transition to a cane or walking with just your body weight. It is also important to talk to your doctor and/or physical therapist about the type of activities you should be doing and the amount of time that you should be using the walker for optimal results.

Be sure to follow all instructions provided by your doctor and/or physical therapist in order to ensure that you are making a safe, successful recovery.

Is it good to sit in a recliner after back surgery?

It is generally not recommended to sit in a recliner after back surgery as it is not always the best way to support your spine and upper back. When reclining, you put added pressure on the lower back, which can be detrimental.

Additionally, recliners are often too soft and can push your back or hips into an awkward position. It is important to be mindful of your back health, since the spine is connected to other areas of the body, and back surgery can require weeks or months for a full recovery.

You should talk to your doctor about what kind of options are available for supportive seating. A supportive chair or sofa with a good back support, firm cushion and adjustable armrests would be a much better option for seated recovery.

Be sure to keep moving and vary your activities for the best long-term results. Simple activities like standing, stretching, and walking in short intervals can help promote blood flow and muscle regeneration to aid in the recovery process.

Does walking speed up surgery recovery?

Yes, walking can indeed help speed up surgery recovery. Walking is beneficial because it encourages blood circulation and helps the body move lymph fluid, which carries nutrients and fluids to different parts of the body.

Additionally, walking increases the release of endorphins, hormones that can reduce pain and inflammation, as well as lift your mood and stress levels. Walking is especially important for people who have had pelvic, abdominal, or orthopedic surgery.

With those types of surgeries, walking helps improve the circulation of both blood and lymph fluid throughout these areas, helping to reduce swelling and decrease pain. It also helps increase strength and range of motion in the surgical area, which can make it easier to rock onto one’s toes and complete daily activities.

However, it’s important to speak with a doctor before beginning a post-surgical walking program to make sure that the activity is safe and appropriate for the individual.

Does walking help you heal faster after surgery?

Yes, walking does help you heal faster after surgery. Walking helps to increase blood flow, which can improve healing by delivering oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. This can help reduce inflammation and swelling and prevent the buildup of fluid.

Walking can also help reduce scarring, as movement helps skin heal from incisions. Additionally, walking has been found to improve mood and reduce stress, which can help the body heal faster. While it is important to rest after surgery, and follow instructions from your doctor or surgeon, adding moderate walking to your post-operative care plan can help speed up the healing process.

How much walking is good after surgery?

After surgery it is important to follow your doctor’s advice for recovery, including any activity or exercise. Physical activity can help you recover faster and prevent muscle stiffness, but it’s important to avoid activities that could harm your recovery.

Following surgery, walking can help improve blood circulation, reduce swelling, and promote healing. Depending on the type of surgery, your doctor may advise a certain amount of walking per day. For most types of surgery, the recommendation is usually 10 minutes of walking twice a day.

However, your doctor may advise more or less depending on the type of surgery you had. Start off slow and don’t push yourself too hard; it’s normal to experience some pain and uneasiness. Always talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program.


  1. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery | Johns Hopkins Medicine
  2. Minimally invasive surgical treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis
  3. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – How Does It Work?
  4. Spinal Stenosis Surgery | Types, Risks, Recovery
  5. Surgery for Spinal Stenosis – NYU Langone Health