Surgery for Spinal Stenosis: Is It Right for You?

Spinal stenosis is the most common reason for spinal surgery for patients over the age of 60. In this condition, the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the nerves running through it. Because the nerves relay messages to and from the brain, spinal stenosis can result in a range of symptoms, including muscle weakness and tingling in the extremities. It may also manifest as back pain. Osteoarthritis, or wear and tear arthritis, is a common cause of spinal stenosis.

As patients’ symptoms begin to interfere with their daily life, they may start to consider surgery. However, it’s important to weigh several factors before moving forward with surgical interventions.

For one thing, 15 to 20% of patients experiencing spinal stenosis get better. The majority of patients live with their symptoms and can manage them through nonsurgical alternatives. The rest undergo surgery, but surgical outcomes aren’t always successful.

In particular, spinal stenosis is less effective for activity-related lower back pain. In other words, if your symptoms are worse while moving or standing, you may not be an ideal candidate for surgery. And, as with any surgery, there are risks for surgical interventions such as decompression fusion surgery.

Because spinal stenosis doesn’t necessarily worsen over time, there is usually no urgency for patients to pursue surgery (unless they’re experiencing progressive weakness in the legs, in which case it’s important to address the issue quickly and prevent long-term nerve damage). To that end, many patients may wish to consider less invasive therapies first.

Stem Cell Therapy for Spinal Stenosis

One alternative to surgery for spinal stenosis is stem cell therapy. Stem cells are found in the body naturally and act as a healing mechanism. They can rebuild tissue, reduce inflammation, and eliminate pain. These undifferentiated cells can specialize in to many different cell types, such as cartilage or bone. When injected at the site of injury or tissue damage, they can promote healing and pain relief and decrease inflammation.

Unlike invasive surgeries, stem cell therapy also requires minimal downtime and presents fewer risks. As a natural treatment, this regenerative medicine therapy can replace degenerated tissue with new, proliferative cells poised to rebuild and repair tissue. For anyone experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis that worsen with movement or patients who would simply like to explore more conservative therapies, stem cell treatment could very well be an excellent alternative to surgery.

This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. You can find more information on multiple airborne diseases here.