Canal Stenosis – Four Questions to Ask Before Surgery

What is Canal Stenosis

Canal stenosis is the narrowing of the central spinal canal that can be caused by a range of spinal conditions making this a relatively common diagnosis. The symptoms of canal stenosis can interfere with your quality of life. This can make it hard to do everything from getting a good night’s sleep to being able to spend time with loved ones. 

Doctors will usually begin treatment for this condition with a course of conservative treatment options. It’s essential to be patient and work with your doctor to give yourself the best chance of finding lasting relief. To help you be an active and informed participant in your treatment, ask your doctor these questions as you’re starting out. 

1. What is the Extent of My Canal Stenosis?

One of the most important questions to ask your doctor is about the underlying cause of your spinal narrowing. Minor canal stenosis at one location has a better chance of responding to initial conservative treatment than severe spinal degeneration at multiple levels. The earlier you can get an accurate picture of this, the better. 

2. What Can I Expect From This Treatment?

You must have realistic expectations for your canal stenosis treatment before starting a treatment plan. The goal of conservative treatment should be to manage pain in the short term while you take steps to improve your mobility and your overall health in the long term. Make sure you’re doctor provides you with a comprehensive plan to improve your overall health. This can include methods like physical therapy, posture improvement, and weight loss planning if necessary. 

3. What Are Some Alternative Treatments For Canal Stenosis?

Doctore will generally recommend the treatments they think will best suit a particular patient’s needs. However, it’s good to know what other alternatives may be available to you. By better understanding, the spectrum of potential treatment approaches you and your doctor can more easily determine the right treatment for your situation. For example, while still outside the medical mainstream, more doctors are working with patients interested in exploring alternative medicine such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. 

4. Should I Consider Surgery?

Doctors will typically wait until all conservative treatment has been attempted over a course of weeks or months before asking a patient to consider surgery for canal stenosis. Your doctor will recommend surgery if pain and other symptoms are severe and persistent. As well as if therapies that once brought relief are no longer effective. 

How BEST Health System Can Help

BEST Health System offers minimally invasive spine surgery is safer and more effective than traditional open spine procedures. We use a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine, allowing for an outpatient procedure that offers many advantages to our patients. 

To learn more, reach out to our dedicated team at BEST Health System today.