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Is Spinal Stenosis Reversible?

Is Spinal Stenosis Reversible?

We’re going to dispense with the suspense and get right to the questions we pose in the title of this blog about whether spinal stenosis is reversible — it is not. While there may be no way to turn back the clock on spinal stenosis, this doesn’t mean that you’re without options for regaining pain-free movement.

At Texas Spine Consultants, our combined team of spine health experts — Michael Hennessy, MDChester Donnally, MDHeidi Lee, MDAndrew Park, MD, and Robert Viere, MD — has the experience and training you want for all of your spine health needs, especially when you’re dealing with an irreversible condition like spinal stenosis. 

Here’s a look at why spinal stenosis is irreversible and what we can do to help you find relief from the backneckleg, and/or arm pain that’s often associated with the condition.

A narrow problem

The primary reason why spinal stenosis is irreversible is because it’s a degenerative condition. As you get older, age-related changes along your spine, such as osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease, cause your spinal canal to narrow, which can compress your spinal cord, as well as sensitive nerve roots that exit your spine. 

Depending upon where the nerves are compressed, this can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in different areas:

Spinal stenosis is typically confined to these two areas of your spine as they’re the most active. 

Spinal stenosis is fairly common — about five out of every 1,000 people will likely develop lumbar spinal stenosis and researchers predict that the disease will affect about 18 million people in the United States in the next decade.

A problem with solutions

Since spinal stenosis is degenerative, this means that not only are the changes that have already occurred irreversible, the disease can progress and become worse, which is why seeking our help is important. 

At our practice, we offer several solutions for spinal stenosis that can help ease your symptoms. We prefer to start out conservatively and we might try some medications or nerve blocks to relieve the symptoms and then physical therapy to help strengthen and stabilize your spine. This approach is especially effective if your stenosis is related to a herniated disc.

Should these steps fall short, we can recommend a surgical procedure that will decompress your spine. There are several ways in which we can go about addressing spinal stenosis surgically, and most come down to decompression. What we mean by decompression is that we find ways to make space for the entrapped nerves in your spine, which might include removing bony structures, thickened ligaments, or other materials.

We may also recommend fusing two vertebrae together to stabilize them.

It’s impossible for us to go any further as we first need to evaluate the location, degree, and cause of the stenosis to figure out which surgical approach is best.

If you’d like to figure out the best treatment for your spinal stenosis, we invite you to contact one of our offices in Addison or Plano, Texas, to schedule a consultation with one of our spine specialists. 

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