How is cervical spinal stenosis treated?
In itself, degeneration of the cervical spine is no ground for surgery, since many elderly people’s spines show signs of wear and tear, even though most of them do not experience pain or symptoms of spinal cord compression.
The presence of discomfort is not considered a ground for surgery, either, as long as the level of discomfort remains stable. However, if the patient begins to experience more discomfort, or if the scans show signs of spinal cord compression as well as other types of compression, or if the patient experiences an acute deterioration of his condition, a neurosurgeon will have to intervene, in order to prevent the situation from getting worse in the future.
IThe purpose of a cervical spinal stenosis operation is to create more space for the spinal cord. In order to remove the stenosis, the patient will be operated on from the neck. This procedure is called bony decompression and involves making an incision in the middle of the neck, exactly at the level of the stenosis. From here the vertebral arches will be opened in the middle, between the neck muscles, and excess connective tissue and bone tissue will be removed, so as to relieve the compressed spinal cord and the nerves branching off the cord.
Previous results have indicated that patients should be grateful if their level of discomfort does not get worse. While most patients feel better after the operation, some patients’ condition fails to improve, and other patients actually feel worse after the operation. In cases where patients do not feel better following surgery, the blood supply to the spinal cord has probably been disrupted to the point where surgery is ineffective.
So what happens when I undergo surgery?
Click the button below for some general information on operations performed by Dr Schröder.