The condition of lumbar spinal stenosis varies from time to time: sometime symptoms may be acute and sometimes not acute. Numbness, weakness you feel or inability to stand or walk may indicate that your condition deteriorates. Loss of bladder and bowel control also means the worsening of your spinal stenosis.
If you are suffering acute low back pain which cannot be alleviated by other forms of treatment and you have trouble doing normal activities, your health professional may give you a prescription for hydrocodone or other opioid medicines. But these medicines are ineffective for symptoms that appear in the legs. In addition opioids such as mental confusion, drowsiness, and constipation will have great side effects, which are more unbearable than the pain of lumbar spinal stenosis itself.
If nonsurgical treatment recommended by your health professional proves to be ineffective for you for some time, you may take surgery as an alternative treatment. In order to identify the amount and location of spinal canal narrowing, you’d better to have an Imaging tests (such as MRI). You need to have a discussion with your health professional about the severity of symptoms and imaging test results, and then you can make a decision about whether to undergo a surgery or not.
Back surgery (decompressive laminectomy with or without spinal fusion) may be recommended when you:
Are suffering severe symptoms of pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs that set a limit to your normal daily activities and greatly spoil the quality of your life.
Have good healthy condition but do not have other alternatives that will enable you to restore your health soon.
Surgery is aiming at alleviating pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs rather than back pain. People who undergo a spinal stenosis surgery for the purpose of alleviating nerve root symptoms and pain in both the back and legs are more content with results than are those who undergo a surgery solely for lessening back pain. Mostly, surgery can not provide relief from back pain related to spinal stenosis. What’s more, the symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and pain may appear again after the surgery.
As far as we know, the sole purpose of applying Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) is to treat symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis in the legs. This treatment provides a short-term effect on symptoms only. According to experts, there is no evidence to prove that it is effective in the long term. When your doctor advise you to take injections, make sure that he knows about the fact that you are running a risk when overusing injections.
Usually, it is inadvisable that older grow-ups have a surgery when they are capable of doing normal daily activities and are capable of improving their condition with nonsurgical treatment. However, if the symptoms are too serious and greatly ruin their life, they may consider having a surgery even though risks may occur in it. For the older adults who have other serious disease, surgery may not be an ideal choice because the other disease will put them at greater risk.