Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: back | surgery | stenosis | treat

How Should I Treat My Back Problem?

By    |   Friday, 31 Jan 2014 06:40 PM

Question: I have had surgery for a disk injury now I have stenosis, pinching nerves. What is the best option for dealing with this, other than more surgery?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Having disc removal won't necessarily cure you of your back problems. Once stenosis develops, it is important to determine whether it is in the spinal canal or in the narrow channels where the nerve roots exit the spinal cord to form nerves outside of the spine itself.
 
Stenosis in those passageways is usually amenable to laser surgery, though many insurance companies won't approve if you have had prior back surgery and may try to push you to have a spinal fusion procedure, which is not always in the patient's best interest. Spinal stenosis is a very different issue, and this is usually treated non-surgically with few exceptions, mainly because of the risks of spinal cord damage with overly aggressive surgery.
 
I always favor a less invasive treatment, when possible, but you will need to discuss your options with your neurologist and with your spinal surgeon, as well as your primary care physician. Ask whether the procedure is necessary now or whether you can try other treatments first.
 

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Having disc removal won't necessarily cure you of your back problems.
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