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Non-surgical Treatment for Severe Stenosis

RFLO1RRFLO1 Posts: 23
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. I have been told I need to have a fusion at L4-L5 for severe stenosis, and possible fusion at L5-S1 as there is no disk and neuro will make decision during surgery. However, my cardiologist has recommended I look at all options before surgery. I have tried PT in the past to no avail. I have serious back pain, butt pain, and groin pain. Also have walking issues. I am wondering if there is any other treatment options for Stenosis that will help, or is surgery the only option? Thanks for your help!



  • Have you had any physical therapy, from someone familiar or trained in the British or Australian back care strategies? I have severe stenosis at L3-L4 and it hurts all the time.

    My PT was able to work on releasing the facet joints. Mine really lock up badly and this has helped with, but not eliminated the Stenosis pain.

    I will also say that I am working on Deep Muscle strengthening and have seen some changes over the last few months, positively.

    So far - I have not had an acute attack yet, so we will see how it goes.
    BTW- I use a cane all of the time and this had helped me tremendously, I can walk much longer distances with the cane, than without.

    Hope your feeling better - David
  • Thanks David, I have tried PT in the past with no help. I do try to swim everyday to help keep my back strenghtened. I was curious if the facet joints are the popping in my back? This happens anytime I get up from a sitting position and hurts pretty bad. I will look at the British/Australian therapry you mentioned. I also use a cane.

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  • Obviously this is not a medical opinion...that being said, I don't think there is much you can do if the stenosis is quite bad. Building up the strength of the surrounding tissue will only go so far. If the space inside what is supposed to be an opening is so compromised that nothing can get through, the only thing that helps is to open up that space.

    That was the case with my stenosis at L4-5. My surgeons were amazed that I had even been able to walk, as there was just a teeny opening for the nerve to pass through.

    I kept living with it, hoping that technology would take a giant leap forward and there would be something to offer me other than fusion. But finally I got to the point where I hardly left the house, I was driving to my mailbox at the end of my driveway to collect the mail, and I could only stand for about a minute or two.

    It is always worth getting a number of opinions from a variety of specialists, but I doubt you will get any other suggestions. Stenosis is not like a disc that can rupture and heal. If you have any arthritic changes, such as in the foramina or facet joints, osteophytes, etc. these will not go away due to any type of exercise. These have to be removed to open up enough space that the nerves can pass through.

    If you have no disc separating two vertebrae, you probably also have a nerve that is compressed. Some sort of spacer will need to be inserted between the bones to make room for the nerves.

    I hope there is something new out there that can help you, but I try to stay on top of new technologies and I haven't heard of anything short of surgery that will help resolve your problems if your stenosis is bad.

    Wishing you well.

    xx Gwennie
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