Surgery can be a beneficial option for those with spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal, since it can provide symptom relief and the possibility of improved mobility. Spinal stenosis can cause pain, tingling, numbness and difficulty moving and standing for long periods of time.
Surgery is typically considered if other treatment options, such as physical therapy, medications and epidural steroid injections, have not provided sufficient relief.
Depending on the severity of the condition, the type of procedure used for surgical treatment can vary. The most common type of spinal surgery for stenosis is a laminectomy, which removes parts of the vertebrae to allow the nerves more room.
Other procedures that may be used include decompression, fusion or corrective devices such as instrumented spinal fusion and implants.
The decision to pursue spinal surgery should be made in close consultation with a qualified spine specialist, who can assess a patient’s specific condition and provide information on the success rates and risks associated with each procedure.
To determine if surgery is the right option, the specialist will review a patient’s medical history, take imaging tests, and evaluate the patient’s symptoms.
For some patients with spinal stenosis, surgery can be an effective option to treat their condition. However, the specific decision to pursue surgery should be made in close consultation with a qualified spine specialist who can provide the necessary information about each procedure and the associated risks.
Table of Contents
What is the success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis?
The success rate of surgery for spinal stenosis varies depending on the type of surgery being performed and the individual patient’s health. Generally, the success rate for decompressive laminectomy, which is the most commonly performed surgical procedure for spinal stenosis, is about 85 percent.
The success rate for spinal fusion is about 70 percent. In some cases, a combined procedure with decompressive laminectomy and spinal fusion can be performed, with a success rate of 85–90 percent.
Regardless of the type of surgery being performed, the long-term success of surgery in treating spinal stenosis is dependent on the patient maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following the prescribed physical therapy plan after the surgery.
Physical therapy is essential in helping the patient regain strength and mobility, as well as preventing further complications and a reoccurrence of symptoms. In addition, patients should be aware that there is no guarantee that the surgery will be successful, and that in some cases, the surgery can make symptoms worse.
For these reasons, it is important to discuss all your options with your doctor before making a final decision about surgery.
Does spinal stenosis come back after surgery?
The short answer is that it can come back after surgery, though this is not the typical outcome. Spinal stenosis is a condition caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can lead to nerve root compression.
This can cause pain, muscle weakness, and other symptoms throughout the body.
While there is no assurance that recurrence of spinal stenosis won’t happen, there is a good chance of improvement or complete resolution of symptoms after spinal stenosis surgery. However, it is important to note that symptoms can recur or worsen depending on the type of surgery used, the severity of stenosis, and the patient’s response to the surgery.
In fact, symptoms may still be present post-surgery if the procedure does not relieve the pressure on the nerve roots.
It is possible for spinal stenosis to reoccur after it has been treated, but this is less common than initial symptoms reoccurring due to the return of spinal narrowing. If a recurrence does happen, it is usually due to the prior surgery being incomplete or over time, the spinal stenosis progresses.
Recurrence is more likely to occur in patients with a more severe initial condition.
Although it is possible for spinal stenosis to reoccur after surgery, this is not the typical outcome. Most patients are able to experience significant relief of their symptoms and improved mobility as a result of surgery.
However, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, good nutrition and proper rest to help ward off a recurrence.
What happens if you let spinal stenosis go untreated?
If spinal stenosis goes untreated, it can cause increasing levels of pain and eventually lead to disability. The narrowing of the spinal canal can cause a pinch in the nerve roots, which is what causes the pain in people with spinal stenosis.
If this pinch is persistent, it can lead to numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms, legs, and feet that can eventually lead to disability. Other symptoms include bladder and bowel problems, difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time, fatigue, and sciatica.
Over time, the narrowing of the spinal canal can press on the spinal cord, which can result in serious nerve damage. Ultimately, it is important to have spinal stenosis diagnosed and treated early, as it can lead to serious long-term damage if left untreated.
Can you live with spinal stenosis without surgery?
Yes, it is possible to live with spinal stenosis without surgery. Treatment options typically depend on the severity of the condition and the symptoms associated with it. Mild cases of spinal stenosis can often be managed without surgery through lifestyle changes, such as physical therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises, weight loss, and avoiding activities that aggravate spine-related symptoms.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, nerve blocks, and other medications may be used to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms.
For more severe cases, surgery may be considered, but this is usually only when conservative treatments are unsuccessful. The types of surgery will differ based on the type of spinal stenosis present.
Before deciding on any type of surgical intervention, you should always consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.
How do you prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows and compresses the nerves which can cause pain and other symptoms. In order to prevent it from getting worse it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding any physical activities that put too much strain on the spine. Additionally, it is important to consult with a doctor on a regular basis to monitor the condition and address any issues that might arise.
In some cases, physical therapy or medications may also be prescribed in order to reduce pain and inflammation. Additionally, wearing supportive footwear and lifting with the legs rather than the back can help reduce the strain on the spine.
Surgery may also be recommended in order to reduce the compression on the nerves caused by spinal stenosis. Following these steps can help to reduce the risk of injury, slow the progression of the condition, and even prevent it from getting worse.
How long does spinal stenosis surgery last?
Spinal stenosis surgery typically lasts several hours and is typically done as an open, or traditional, procedure. During the surgery, the goal is to release the pressure on the nerves in the spine and to make more room for them to move around.
In some cases, the surgeon may also need to trim away any bone spurs that are present, since these can lead to further compression of the nerves. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital just overnight, or you may need to stay for 1 to 3 days.
In some cases, spinal stenosis surgery may involve several different procedures in which case it may take longer. Additionally, your recovery time may vary depending on your individual situation and the procedure you had.
Who is not a candidate for the Vertiflex procedure?
The Vertiflex procedure is an approved medical procedure to treat lumbar spinal stenosis, a condition where the spinal canal is too narrow, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks and legs.
It is not suitable for everyone and there are certain individuals who are not suitable candidates for this procedure.
Those who are not suitable candidates for the Vertiflex procedure include people with significantly severe spinal stenosis or curvature of the spine (such as scoliosis or other spinal deformities), who have severe degenerative disc disease or advanced facet joint arthritis, who are pregnant, who are significantly overweight, or who have a history of bleeding disorders or nerve compression disorders such as peripheral neuropathy.
People who have had prior surgery in the spine may also be poor candidates for the Vertiflex procedure, since any prior surgeries may complicate the situation and cause additional risks. Lastly, those who are current or recent drug abusers or who have untreated or active infections (such as an untreated urinary tract infection) are not candidates for the Vertiflex procedure.
Who is a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery?
A good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery is someone who is currently experiencing severe or chronic pain in the lower back, neck, or other areas of the spine due to a structural abnormality such as a herniated disc or a spinal fracture.
Additionally, a good candidate is a patient who has already explored other treatment options such as pain medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle alterations, but these interventions have failed to provide adequate relief.
Furthermore, a good candidate for this type of surgery should be in overall good health and have no major medical contraindications that could increase the risk of complications from surgery. It is important to note that minimally invasive spine surgery can be used to address common spine disorders such as spinal stenosis and herniated discs, but it may not be the best course of treatment for certain conditions.
Your healthcare provider will assess your individual case to determine if minimally invasive spine surgery is right for you.
What is the success rate of minimally invasive laminectomy?
The success rate of minimally invasive laminectomy, also known as laminotomy, is difficult to quantify due to the varying nature of the conditions being treated. Generally, however, it is thought that a minimally invasive laminectomy has a success rate of around 90%.
This means that in most cases, a patient can expect to experience significant improvement in their condition, either in terms of pain reduction, mobility or otherwise. The procedure is more successful in those who have shorter medical histories and those whose condition is fairly recent.
The success rate of a laminectomy may also depend on the skill and experience of the surgeon carrying out the procedure, as well as the type of condition being treated. Quality of pre- and post-operative care has also been linked to successful outcomes with this type of surgery.
Overall, minimally invasive laminectomy is thought to offer an excellent success rate, with most patients able to expect significant positive change as a result of their procedure.
Is minimally invasive spine surgery better?
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a type of surgery that involves making only small incisions instead of larger incisions to enable the surgeon to reach and treat the affected area of the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery, or MISS, offers numerous benefits over traditional open spine surgery.
The benefits include lower risk of infection and injury due to the small incision, faster healing, decreased length of stay in the hospital, and less post-operative pain. MISS is also beneficial due to the advanced imaging available to surgeons that can allow them to see a detailed image of the spine, enabling them to precisely target the affected area and decrease the chances of surgery-related complications.
The risk associated with MISS is similar to that of open spine surgeries, and is influenced by the individual person’s health and the specific procedure being done. The risks may include nerve damage, infection, and more.
Patients should discuss the benefits of MISS as well as any related risk factors with their surgeon to decide if it’s the best option for them.
Overall, minimally invasive spine surgery is generally beneficial for those needing spine surgery due to its advantages over traditional open spine surgery, such as fewer complications, decreased pain, and quicker recovery.
Patients should discuss the possible risks and benefits with their surgeon to determine if MISS is the best option for them.
What is an alternative to a spine surgery?
An alternative to a spine surgery is a series of non-surgical treatments that can provide relief from pain, discomfort and improve mobility. These treatments include physical therapy, lifestyle modifications like improved posture, heat, stretching and strengthening exercises, chiropractic adjustments, massage, acupuncture and cortisone injections.
Depending on the underlying cause for the spine issue, medication may also be prescribed to treat pain, inflammation, muscle spasms and underlying conditions, such as herniated discs, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Finally, spinal decompression therapy may also be recommended to help reduce pressure on the spine and help realign the vertebrae.
Who is not a candidate for spinal decompression?
Generally speaking, anyone who is able to have a major surgical procedure should not be a candidate for spinal decompression. People who are not candidates for spinal decompression include those with unstable spinal conditions, such as infections, fractures or tumors; those with pre-existing conditions that could be exascerbated by the procedure; those who are pregnant; those with a pacemaker or other electrical device implanted or near the treatment area; and those with a history of bleeding disorders or are currently on blood thinning medications.
Additionally, people with osteoporosis and those who have had an extensive fusion procedure may also not be good candidates for spinal decompression. Lastly, anyone with metal implants, such as surgical screws or plates, in or around the treatment area should not be considered for spinal decompression.
Ultimately, it is highly recommended to speak with your doctor about your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for spinal decompression.