The narrowing of the spaces in the spine backbone results in pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots. The narrowing down may involve a small part or a large area of the spine. This narrowing may be a result of an injury to the spine due to accident or a natural aging process. Usually spinal stenosis arrives in both men and women after the age of 50.
To enable the doctor to decide whether spinal stenosis surgery is required or not a patient needs to give to the surgeon his complete medical history. Without any biases about the symptoms and the general health condition, the patient should submit the information to doctor. The medical professional will proceed with the physical test and examinations then.
This is done to enable the doctor to form his own expert opinion. The patient’s movements are checked. Any painful symptoms when the patient overextends the spine by bending backwards are also checked. The examination is done basically for the normal neurologic function such as muscle strength, reflexes and sensation.
When X rays, MRIs and Computer axial tomography (CAT) are common for even ordinary types of diseases, how an important one like spinal stenosis can escape these tests? A bone scan is also performed along with other tests.
In many cases the non-surgical treatment is not the permanent answer to treat spinal stenosis. The non-surgical methods may relieve your pain in some cases. But when the weakness and the numbness of the back and legs persist, the surgical operation is the only option left.
If the state of the patient’s health demands so, he may be operated immediately. Patient’s preference is also one of the important factors in deciding about the operation.
The purpose of the surgery is simple and direct. That is, to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or nerves and to maintain alignment and strength of the spine. The surgeon knows how to achieve the best results. The diseased parts need to be adjusted, removed and trimmed, wherever necessary. Various devices are used to strengthen the unstable segments.
In spite of the best efforts of the surgeon, operation is not the final answer. He will prescribe the post operation exercising regimen. But then with such methods the present damage can be healed to a great extent and the chances of future trouble is drastically reduced as well.