Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis

There are multiple treatment options for individuals suffering from the sypmtoms of spinal stenosis.

Once a diagnosis of spinal stenosis is confirmed, your doctor may prescribe conservative treatment to alleviate painful symptoms. Should conservative treatment fail, surgery may be another treatment option.

Conservative Care

In some cases, back and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis can be treated with medication, corticosteroid injections, rest, and physiotherapy. If symptoms worsen, conservative measures may not provide relief and patients may begin to consider more vigorous treatment options.

Decompression Surgery

The surgical procedure most often performed for cervical spinal stenosis is a cervical foraminotomy. The purpose of this procedure is to enlarge the space of the spinal canal to relieve compression on the spinal cord and symptoms such as tingling and weakness that occur with spinal stenosis.

The surgical procedure most often done for lumbar spinal stenosis is a decompressive laminectomy, sometimes accompanied by spinal fusion. This procedure involves removal of portions of the vertebrae, ligaments, and/or bulging disc(s) that are causing compression of the nerves and/or spinal cord.

Spinal Fusion Surgery

Traditionally, a surgical process called a spinal fusion has been used to treat degenerative conditions in the spine. Using bone grafts and instrumentation such as metal plates and screws, this procedure fuses two or more adjacent vertebrae. This procedure aims to stabilise the spine and provide pain relief.
More: About Spinal Fusion

Interspinous Process Spacer

An interspinous spacer can be an option to relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis. The spacer is implanted during a minimally invasive surgical procedure.While spacers are designed to remain between your spinous processes permanently to prevent the nerves from being pinched, the spacer can be removed.

Since there is no structurally important bone removed during the procedure, the spacer may provide you and your surgeon with the option to consider additional treatments at a later time if your spinal condition progresses.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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