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What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. Over time, this can place pressure on the spinal cord, which can result in significant pain, numbness and other concerns. Usually, spinal stenosis is part of the aging process, but injuries can impact it. Whenever the discs and spaces between them degenerate, it's dangerous for the body.

In most cases, spinal stenosis doesn't require surgery. Instead, patients receive treatments for the symptoms. Activity moderation and self-care is generally all that is required to lower the pain and side effects of stenosis.

In the case that the stenosis does begin to press on the spinal nerves, surgery is a possibility. If you decide to go through with a surgery after an accident makes your stenosis worse or because you were not diagnosed soon enough to try less-invasive options, you have a number of surgical options to choose from. You may decide to have a minimally invasive surgery that cuts away bone, for instance. If that doesn't work for your situation, a more serious open neck or back surgery may be required, which has a longer recovery time.

After you have surgery, patients are asked to get up and move around slowly and carefully. This helps reduce the risk of stiffness and muscle wasting. You may not be able to drive for a few weeks after the operation.

When you have a surgery like this, it's costly and requires time to heal. If your surgery is a result of an injury caused by the failure to diagnose and treat your lesser injuries to the spine before this stage of progression, you may have a medical malpractice case.

Source: Laser Spine Institute, "What happens if I don't treat my spinal stenosis?," accessed Sep. 06, 2017

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