As we all know, the longer a vehicle is on the road, the more likely it is to develop wear and tear problems. Our spines function similarly. The spine, like a car, has significant connections with its moving parts. Further, The spine, unlike the automobile, cannot be replaced. As a result, we must give our spine the best possible care. Spinal stenosis is the final stage of spinal degeneration. Walking pain in the legs is a sign of spinal stenosis.
If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, you should seek treatment. If left untreated, spinal stenosis can result in permanent disability. Says Dr. Gurneet Shawney
Dr. Gurneet Shawney is an expert spine surgeon in Mumbai. He is skilled and experienced in both surgical and medical treatment of spinal conditions. He has treated several patients who were suffering from spinal stenosis in Mumbai. Hence, you can get yourself treated for your spinal stenosis condition from Dr. Gurneet Shawney. Here in this article Dr. Gurneet Shawney explains the basics about Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis And Treatment In Mumbai.
So, first and foremost, let’s establish the following:
How Does Spinal Stenosis Affect You?
The spinal canal has the spinal cord and all its nerves. Suppose the spinal canal narrows, the spinal cord and nerves will have less room to move. It also causes irritation and discomfort, which can lead to spinal stenosis.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
The symptoms of spinal stenosis vary depending on the exact location of the inflammation and pain. Symptoms are mild at first, but they worsen over time. The pain in the back and legs is a common symptom of spinal stenosis.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- Walking causes pain
- Falling frequently
- Tingling in arms and hands
- Hot or cold sensation in the legs
- Issues with the bladder and bowels control
Spinal Stenosis: What Causes It?
The following are some of the possible causes of spinal stenosis:
- Osteoporosis, dislocation, or fracture cause excessive bone growth.
- Discs that have bulged or herniated
- While some people are born with a narrow spinal canal, most cases of spinal stenosis are the result of aging. Our spinal ligaments can thicken and calcify when we get older, and our bones and joints can swell.
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two types of arthritis that cause bone overgrowth and narrowing the spinal canal by removing the surface cartilage and causing bone overgrowth.
Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis
The neurosurgeon will take your medical history and conduct a physical examination to assess the pain and complications of spinal stenosis. The neurosurgeon will advise you to have imaging tests done, such as:
- CT Scan
- MRI Scan
Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
- Analgesics to relieve pain, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation, and muscle relaxants are the most effective medical treatments for spinal stenosis.
- The doctor may suggest that you limit your physical activity. They may recommend specific exercises or physical therapy to help maintain spinal motion, strengthen abdominal and back muscles, and increase endurance.
- A lumbar brace or corset can also help with support. Only when all other options have failed to treat the condition, do neurosurgeons consider surgery.
- The severity of the disabling pain or injury caused by spinal stenosis is the most critical factor in determining whether or not surgery is required. When you cannot care or walk for yourself as well as you once did, you should consider surgery.
- After considering surgery, you did not find significant improvement after a minimum of six to twelve weeks of conservative interventions.
- To “decompress the pinched nerves,” the Laminectomy surgery involves removing the narrowed canal’s posterior bony section (lamina).
- A laminectomy can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, depending on how many spine levels are involved.
- There are only a few restrictions after surgery. The majority of patients are allowed to return home the next day.
- After a decompressive laminectomy, leg complications get quickly alleviated. With the help of physical therapy, you can regain lost stamina and walk distances rapidly, ensuring that chronic compression does not cause any significant nerve abnormalities.
- Stenosis is also associated with spondylolisthesis or a slipped vertebra. A spinal fusion is performed concurrently in cases like these to reduce the risk of back pain caused by spinal dysfunction. At the same time, a laminectomy will aggravate the slipped vertebra.
The Risks of Surgical Treatment
Decompressive surgery, like any other medical procedure, has risks. The most common danger is that of anesthesia. Patients must obtain medical approval from their primary care physician or cardiologist before undergoing surgery. Other issues include:
- Tears in the dura (the nerve sack cuts oozing spinal fluid, corrected during surgery)
- At various levels, spinal stenosis develops.
To summarise, spinal stenosis is a progressive, long-term degenerative condition. Before your quality of life gets seriously harmed, you should go for conservative interventions to manage symptoms. After that, you should consider surgical intervention. Decompression’s benefits frequently outweigh the risks, allowing people with spinal stenosis to resume their favorite activities.