Spinal Stenosis: Non-operative Treatment

Written by Stewart G. Eidelson, MD
Reviewed by Howard S. An, MD

Can spinal stenosis be treated without surgery?
Yes.  In fact, less than 5% of patients with a spinal disorder ever require spine surgery. 
What types of non-surgical treatments are available?
There are several non-surgical options your doctor may recommend to treat your spinal stenosis. Often, treatment combines more than one type of therapy. For example, medication may be combined with physical therapy. Let's review a few of the non-surgical therapies one by one. 

In-depth Articles on Spinal Stenosis Non-surgical Treatments

What happens if I'm one of the 5% that needs surgery?
Surgery (any kind of surgery) is a serious decision. Your doctor will take sufficient time to thoroughly explain your surgical options with you. You might consider bringing a family member or friend along for an added set of 'ears.'

Read our article specifically on spinal stenosis surgery.

A few patients do require spine surgery to treat the symptoms caused by spinal stenosis. The goal of surgery is to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. This is accomplished by enlarging the spinal canal and/or neuroforamen. The type of surgical procedure performed depends on the type, location, and cause of the spinal stenosis.

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Surgery for Spinal Stenosis