"Most patients with spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical treatments (such as medication), so you may not have to have surgery. However, there are situations when you may want to go ahead with spine surgery.
- You've tried non-surgical treatments and they haven't been successful.
- You've been in severe pain for a lengthy period of time.
- You're experiencing radiculopathy, which is a medical term used to describe pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs.
- You've lost sensation in your arms or legs.
- You have decreased motor strength in your arms or legs.
- You've lost bowel or bladder control.
One main goal of spinal stenosis surgery is to free up area for your spinal cord and/or the nerve roots. That's called decompression. By giving your spinal cord and nerve roots more space to pass through, your spine surgeon hopes to decrease your pain from nerve inflammation.
Another goal of spinal stenosis surgery is to increase your motor strength in your arms or legs. If you've lost sensation in your arms or legs, your surgeon also hopes to restore that.