Medical News on Spinal Stenosis Front
We typically think of older folk and the effects of aging when it comes to spinal stenosis. However, the causes can be varied and the condition can affect younger adults as well. It usually occurs in the cervical and lumbar spine and is defined as a narrowing of the spinal column, usually as a consequence of wear and tear. Many people are asymptomatic but others battle disabling pain. In these circumstances spine surgery might be required to increase the opening through which the spinal cord and nerve roots can pass without being compressed.
Two new medical research studies about spine surgery and post-operative recovery for spinal stenosis appeared recently in the journal Spine. In one study led by a team of neurosurgeons, different approaches to spine surgery were evaluated with respect to complication rates, costs and long term outcomes. Most notably, they found that compared with laminectomy procedures with fusions, laminectomy procedures alone yielded fewer complications immediately following surgery and within the following 90 day period.
In an unrelated second study, published back in the June 10 edition of the journal Spine, scientists reviewed 1726 prior research articles and data to determine whether post-operative rehabilitation methods impacted both short and long term outcomes with respect to functionality as well as secondary issues like leg and back pain. They ultimately selected 3 of the studies to include in the analysis. The findings indicated that active rehabilitation was better than standard care following decompression surgery for spinal stenosis across all three criteria.
Rehabilitation following spine surgery for spinal stenosis can include physical therapy sessions followed by supervised and prescribed exercise. A physical therapist can help facilitate movement in muscles and joints that were affected prior to and during surgery. This will in turn help stabilize and protect the spine. After this period, the therapist may teach the person how to safely perform appropriate exercises for their age and condition, when they are on their own. The goal being to regain functionality, flexibility, build strength and prevent future damage.