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Help for a family member with Spinal Stenosis

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I'll start by saying that I do not have Spinal Stenosis. However, my husband does and I'm looking for help. When he was 14 he was hit by a car and substained a serious back injury. Since then he has been on nearly every pain medication there is. Last year he got an MRI done on his back and his doctor diagnosed him with spinal stenosis and told him his only treatment would be sugery. He is only 29 years old. We are at the point where he is taking so much pain medication it is influencing our financial situation and his work situation. However, he refuses to seek non-surgeical therapy as he is convinced there is nothing he can do other than sugery, which makes him very upset. He is so young it seems to have this problem and no one seems to understand that he is in constant pain all the time, every day. We have a one year old son and he wonders how he is going to be able to play with him and teach him sports and all those father/son type things.

What I am asking is, are there alternative treatments to surgery or should be seeking a specialist as we don't have very much confidence in his aging, old-school doctor? I don't know what I can tell him to help him anymore.


  • Welcome to Spine health, Kitty,

    It is good of you to take it upon yourself to get information on your husband's behalf. I am surprised that he has spinal stenosis at such a young age, and I have two possible suggestions: 1. check out the thread about alternative treatment, see if anybody with the same diagnosis fund relief via non-surgical means; 2. go for a second opinion (or a third, if possible) to see if other specialists agree that surgery is his only alternative.

    Wishing you the best in your quest,

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Kitty,
    I agree with both kattoo & kin, get one or two more opinions. Go by your instincts, if you lack confidence in your Dr it is time to move on but you may find your Dr was accurate in his diagnosis. Does your husband experience any tingling or numbness in his body. If so he needs to follow up on the source as soon as possible. I have had a laminectomy to L4 thru L6 and I had great results, electing not to have the surgery would risk paralysis and/or incontinence. I have had other spinal surgeries and will most likely have more in the near future. My symptoms had started when I was younger than your husband, I am very active, a little older, and still have a lot of goals to accomplish. Your husband needs to seek out the answers to his health issues before something more serious and permanent results. Like you my wife has been of tremendous support to me. Your husband must realize how lucky he is. If I can be of any help please feel free to PM me as I have gained much knowledge and support from this site. Take care and keep us posted.
  • Welcome to the board.

    You don't mention where in the spine is his stenosis -- lumbar, cervical? Where is his pain located? Also, is his doctor a spinal specialist?

    Yes, you should definitely persuade your husband to take his new MRI to a fellowship-trained spinal specialist for a consultation. Spinal specialists have become very conservative in their treatment from years ago when the first word out of their mouths was "surgery." Now if at all possible, a variety of conservative treatments will be tried first. Has your husband had any epidural steroid injections? This is one treatment that sometimes help alleviate the pain from stenosis.
  • Kittyunica,
    I am 32 years old and have been living with the everyday pain for 8 years. I was misdiagnosed while in the Marine Corps. Your husband is going through the same things I went through, what does the future hold and will the pain ever go away. I went through 2 years of physiotherapy, a pars injection, and 2 nerve blocks. I have been able to hold my own but have had pain on a daily basis. Get another opinion and see if you can get into a good physiotherapist.
  • i am only 45 and was diagnosed with Spinal stenosis at 36 years old. I am now getting to where i can not walk for more than 100 feet or less before i lose all feeling in my legs, both legs.

    My condition was congenital, drs. think i was born with a narrow spine. Age has nothing to do with it in my case.

    i do not have insurance so i have not been able to try anything to help my condition. i take vicodin daily for pain.
    i hope the best for everyone
  • I first noticed pain from spinal stenosis at 25 now I'm 32 the worst 7 years of my life dealing with the agonizing pain in my legs.Then I had a MicroD surgery to decompress the L4/5 nerve root
    Post op nine days,it was the best descision I ever made was up walking pain free the next day it felt like a miracle.So I believe this procedure could benifit ur husband greatly but I'm no Dr just speaking from my expieriance and there's another plus we are young so we handle the surgery much easier by theory again I was home the next day after surgery I was walking a pain free 1/4 mile for the first time in 7 years! I wouldn't wait If I was him any longer Get er done lol and feel free to contact me anytime at TocBolts@yahoo.com
  • I am a 29, a mother of 3 kids. I am going for an MRI to determine the severity of L5-S1, S1-S2 lumbosacral radiculopathy, sacral radiculopathy and spinal stenosis. I feel like I am too young to have these problems. I am a very active person. I have played Volleyball from the time I was 13 til recently. I am hoping that it is not too serious.
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