Spinal Stenosis Pain Procedure | An Explanation By Ivy League Pain Doctors
What Is A Spinal Stenosis Pain Procedure? A Pain Doctor Responds
The spinal column is composed of 33 bones stacked one on top of the other, and is known as the vertebrae. In the middle of each bone along the spine is a hollow space called the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis is a common condition that affects the spinal canal located in the lower back. The spinal canal contains the spinal cord, spinal nerve roots, ligaments, fat and blood vessels.
Spinal stenosis is used to describe the constriction and narrowing of the space within the spine. The narrowing of the space puts excess pressure on spinal nerves because of a lack of space for the nerves, causing varying levels of pain. The pain ranges from tingling and numbness to weakness and leg pain. Spinal stenosis is most commonly associated with the lower back (lumbar), mid-back (thoracic) or neck (cervical) regions in the body.
The most common spinal stenosis pain procedure is a decompressive laminectomy. This surgical procedure removes some of the bones (vertebrae) and parts of thick tissue from the spine to increase space in the spinal canal. This stops the spinal canal from squeezing nerve roots.
In some cases, a spinal fusion may take place at the same time as a decompressive laminectomy. This helps to stabilize parts of the spine that have been treated with a decompressive laminectomy. Spinal fusion is a major surgery and usually takes several hours to complete. There are two main ways spinal fusion is undertaken:
- Bone is removed from another part of the body to create a bridge between adjacent spinal bones (vertebrae). The ‘living’ bone graft stimulates new bone growth.
- Instrumented fusion can be used to insert metal implants into the vertebrae to hold it together until new bone grows between the two adjacent spinal bones.
The Risks of Spinal Stenosis Surgery
Nowadays, many orthopedic surgeons suggest surgical procedures to cure pain. However, surgery is not always necessary. There are many risks and complications associated with unnecessary surgeries, including:
- Blood clots
- Infection at wound site
- Long-term use of opioids and NSAIDs
- Nerve damage
- Risks associated with anesthesia
- Spinal fluid leak
- Worsening of the chronic back pain
Due to the risks associated with surgery, it is important to seek medical advice from a Board Certified pain doctor. The good news is that there are many spinal stenosis pain procedure treatment options that maximize health through minimally invasive procedures!
If you’re struggling with back pain, consider visiting a pain doctor. Pain doctors are leaders in the field of pain medicine and use the latest techniques to diagnose and target pain directly. They have a holistic approach to health care that avoid unnecessary use of narcotics and invasive surgeries.
Symptoms Of Spinal Stenosis
Now that we have looked at the process of spinal stenosis and the risks of complex surgeries, let’s take a look at the symptoms of spinal stenosis. In spinal stenosis cases, it is common for symptoms to progressively get worse over time. As the spinal canal narrows, the nerves become more inflamed and aggravated. Some common symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
- Balance problems
- Leg or arm weakness
- Lower back pain when standing or walking
- Numbness in leg or buttocks
However, it is important to note that many of these symptoms overlap with other pain conditions. Due to this, it is highly recommended to seek medical advice from a Board Certified pain doctor. Pain doctors are experts in assessing and diagnosing pain and use the latest minimally invasive techniques in medicine to treat you. By visiting a Board Certified pain doctor, you will be able to explore all conservative treatment options with an expert in pain medicine.
Spinal Stenosis Pain Procedure | Minimally Invasive Treatment Options
As we have discussed, there are many reasons you should visit a pain doctor to explore treatments that avoid surgery and long-term use of narcotics. Surgery is risky, has long recovery periods and relies on the use of NSAIDs and other narcotics for long periods of time.
Fortunately, pain doctors have access to many conservative treatment options that alleviate pain. Let’s take a look at one popular way to treat spinal stenosis that minimizes intervention and maximizes health!
Epidural Steroid Injections
An Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) is an excellent minimally invasive treatment option that alleviates back pain. An ESI is used to treat pain that is caused by an inflammation of the spinal nerves, usually due to spinal stenosis or disc herniation.
During this procedure, the patient lies on the X-Ray table. The pain doctor then applies a local anesthetic to numb the area and make the procedure more comfortable for the patient. The patient remains awake so they can provide feedback to the pain doctor. The pain doctor then inserts a needle through the skin and into the space between the bones of the spinal column (vertebrae) using a special X-Ray guidance fluoroscope. This ensures the doctor directly targets the area of pain with maximum accuracy. The pain doctor then injects pain medicine directly into the area of pain in the spine.
The procedure takes no more than 30 minutes to complete and patients may instantly feel the benefits from ESI. It is not uncommon for some patients to return a few weeks after their first ESI procedure to feel the full benefit of maximum pain relief. In addition to your ESI, your pain doctor will recommend the best physical therapist to supply you with exercises that will support your rehabilitation.
Pain doctors have access to an array of tools to diagnose and treat a variety of pain conditions. They will be able to accurately assess your situation and establish a treatment plan to suit your needs. With Ivy League training and access to the latest techniques in pain medicine, you can be rest assured that you are receiving the best care in the country.
Visit A Board Certified Pain Doctor Today
At the VIP Medical Group, we have a team of experienced, friendly, Harvard-trained pain doctors available to help you. Our pain doctors have access to the latest conservative treatment options that maximize health through minimally invasive procedures. Our state of the art facilities are a Center of Excellence and provide access to the latest techniques in regenerative medicine.