Finally — relief from back and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis!
If you experience leg pain, weakness or numbness in your lower legs and buttocks area or if that pain has also turned into lower back pain that can only be relieved by bending over or sitting down, you may have spinal stenosis.
And if you have spinal stenosis, you already know how bad it can be. Unfortunately, it won’t get better or go away over time. If anything, the leg pain and back pain will only get worse.
If you experience these symptoms, you should see a doctor – preferably an orthopedist or a neurosurgeon. The doctor will evaluate your symptoms and usually take x-rays or a MRI to determine the cause and severity of your symptoms.
Typical spinal stenosis treatment solutions begin with anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy or chiropractic care. In some cases, the doctor may recommend an epidural injection in the spine to relieve the pain. These injections may relieve the pain but it is only for a period of weeks or months.
Surgical Solutions For Spinal Stenosis
For those diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the spinal canal space is smaller, making it crowded and difficult for nerve roots to exit freely through the foramen. As we age, the tissue in our spine that connects bones together (ligaments) may start to thicken and harden from arthritis, discs may start to collapse and bulge (or herniate), and bone spurs, known as osteophytes, may grow on bone in the spine. All of these things narrow the amount of space in the spinal canal, reducing the nerve’s ability to exit and extend to your lower extremities. Therefore, the nerves in the lumbar spine become compressed, causing pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs.
Healthy Spinal Canal
Narrowed Spinal Canal
In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve your leg pain and back pain. The typical spinal stenosis surgery begins with a procedure called “decompression.” This is where the doctor surgically relieves the SOURCE of the pain – anything that may be impinging on those nerves that are trying to exit the spinal canal – which could be related to the disc, the ligaments or the bones in the lower spine.
Depending on the type and degree of decompression, the spine may become unstable afterward and need support. And for many years, the only way to achieve that support was through a spinal fusion. This is where the surgeon “fuses” two of your vertebrae together to ensure stability and limit any other movement that might cause more pain.
But before you consider fusion, you should know what that means. A typical spinal fusion surgery will relieve the pain caused by spinal stenosis, but it may also leave you with significantly less flexibility and less mobility than you had before. That’s because spinal fusion surgery affixes two of your vertebrae together – so neither of them move freely anymore – with a lot of hardware, like pedicle screws, metal rods and other fasteners to lock it into place.
As a result, the recovery from fusion surgery can be long and difficult. Some patients may wear a body brace for up to six weeks before starting physical therapy. And even when recovery is “complete,” patients will typically have less flexibility and mobility than they did before the surgery.
Ask About coflex® by Name
coflex is a small titanium device that gets inserted between your spinous processes following a decompression procedure. You should experience relief from the pain that causes your spinal stenosis, but instead of having a permanent fusion of your bones, you are able to maintain flexibility and range of motion while enjoying the improvements in pain and function that the device provides.
In fact, many patients who receive coflex are up and walking THE SAME DAY after surgery! It’s a minimally invasive surgical procedure, and since no vertebrae are being fused together, you don’t have to wait for bone to heal, or live the rest of your life with all that hardware in your back.
The best part is that the coflex Interlaminar Stabilization device is backed by five years of LEVEL 1 clinical evidence, which proves that it’s a safe, durable and effective treatment option for spinal stenosis as compared to fusion surgery. It’s FDA approved, and there are hundreds of surgeons around the country who have been trained and have recent experience with the coflex device for patients like you.