Lateral Recess Stenosis and Treatments

Between each of the moveable vertebrae is located the intervertebral disc. Disc degeneration and facet joints overloading can cause their arthritic overgrowth. The resultant loss of space and foramen can cause squeezing and pinching of the nerve roots as they exit the spine. This condition is called lateral stenosis. In medical terms, stenosis is termed as “narrowing” of any tubular vessel or structural passageway within the body. In lateral recess stenosis, the space at the exit doorway of the spinal canal called foramen is reduced and narrowed.

What Causes Lateral Recess Narrowing?

There is an evolution for every disease and the causes lie behind. Lateral recess narrowing is caused by disc degeneration, herniated disc, disc bulge and osteophytes. The question arises what recess actually is? The recess is a narrow tube that has sufficient space to allow the nerves to pass through the surrounding tissues and organs. When the portion of the cylindrical space is occupied by the herniated disc, bulging disc and osteophytes, the recess gets narrowed. The height of the intervertebral disc decides the diameter of the recess. Lateral recess is narrowed when the disc is collapsed resulting in tightening of the space. Lateral recess stenosis is diagnosed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer tomography (CT) scan images. The images depict the clear narrowing of lateral recess if the patient has got one.

Treatment to Relieve Symptoms of Lateral Recess Stenosis

Lateral recess stenosis comes with three types of treatment options- conservative treatment, interventional therapy and surgery. Conservative treatment options include medications, chiropractic therapy and physical therapy whereas interventional therapy includes injections like epidural steroid injection and trans-foraminal epidural steroid injection. When all these nonsurgical treatment options seem to bring no improvement sign in the patient suffering, lateral recess stenosis surgery is recommended as the treatment option. Various surgical treatment options are-

Foraminectomy: It is the spinal surgery that releases the pinched spinal nerves from the foraminal stenosis. The surgery involves the removal of any bone, tissue or excess materials that are reducing space in the foraminal canal.

Discectomy: It is the surgical procedure to remove the damaged portion of the herniated disc in the spine. It tends to be done as microdiscectomy which uses a special microscope to view the disc and the nerves.

Endoscopic Decompression: Endoscopic decompression has proved to of value as it is the minimally invasive technique of removal of herniated disc in a very tissue-preserving way. It helps with chronic back pain that result from disc tear or protrusions. A cutting edge laser is used for this technique to remove the damaged part of the disc.

Spinal Fusion: It is a surgical process used to correct the problems with the bones of the spine called vertebrae. It can be termed as “welding” process. The ideology behind this process is to fuse the vertebrae together into one to relieve the discomfort caused by the degenerated discs.

Spinal Stenosis Treatment in India

Spine surgery in India is the most trending treatment option, not because of the low cost but for the quality which is delivered. India has a rich medical infrastructure with most of the hospitals catering the various medical services and setting up the benchmark. Indian spinal surgeons are the most competent in performing various surgeries as they have ample of experience in handling cases regardless of their complexity. Consult with your doctor and get treated if you are the one suffering from this disease.