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"Can laser treatment help spinal stenosis?"

ZocdocAnswersCan laser treatment help spinal stenosis?


I have an elderly father who has spinal stenosis. It is seriously damaging his quality of life, but he hates doctors and will never go in for surgery. I might convince him, though, if it's lasers insteda of scalpels. Is this possible?


I am sorry to hear that your father has spinal stenosis. This can be a very tough condition to live with (as you most likely know). Basically, spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal which results in compression of the spinal cord. This compression causes different symptoms depending on where your father's spinal stenosis is. If it is in the lower back, then it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the legs. The best initial treatment for spinal stenosis is physical therapy. Spinal injections and anti-inflammatory medications are used next or along with physical therapy in some patients. It is important to give these modes of treatment a chance to work because surgery is not always the best option. Unfortunately, there are no laser surgeries that are currently available for spinal stenosis. The gold standard operation is the laminectomy. This is where part of the spinal column is removed and adjusted to allow for more room in the spinal column. More often than not, the laminectomy is effective at relieving the symptoms of spinals stenosis. It is reserved for severe cases that fail the more conservative treatments. It sounds like your father's condition is severe, and thus it probably would not be a bad idea for you to consult with a neurosurgeon. He or she can get an MRI of your father's back and determine which mode of treatment is best for him. That way your father can decide for himself what he would like to do.

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