HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Spinal stenosis

HCA Neighborhood Health Watch: Surgery options for spinal stenosis

(WWBT) - Spinal stenosis is arthritic narrowing of the lower spine, usually affecting people as they age.

It causes pain like a pinched nerve or sciatica. Sometimes that pain is constant, sometimes only when the person walks or stands.

Dr. Charles Miller, a neurosurgeon and the medical director of Neurotrauma at Chippenham Hospital says that there is a minimally invasive spine surgery for spinal stenosis.

He's been performing surgeries for nearly 20 years.

Miller says that:

  • Spinal stenosis is common and needs an MRI for diagnosis
  • Minimally invasive techniques allow outpatient surgery for patients that might not otherwise tolerate a big operation.
  • Conservative measures like therapy, injections, or chiropractic are useful but cannot cure stenosis, since it is a physical narrowing of the spinal canal. It is often worth trying these measures, but the only "fix" is an operation if all else fails.

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