Spinal Instability: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 6. January 2017 12:31

Spinal Instability or Lumbar Instability is a condition that occurs when the inter-vertebral discs in the spine begin to degenerate. The bulge of the disc decreases and begins to lose height. This causes the vertebrae to displace from their anatomical position and override the disc. It eventually produces friction between the vertebrae, causing pain and several other symptoms. The micro movement within the spine irritates the nerves that emerge out of the joint spaces. The condition may increase the risk of Spinal Arthritis and development of bone spurs. Spinal Instability may also affect the ability of the spine to maintain the body’s structure and movement.

Causes

  • External trauma or fracture of the spine
  • Metastatic tumors in the spine
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Congenital defects in the spinal cord
  • Scoliosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Disorders of the connective tissues
  • Poor lifting techniques

Symptoms

  • Severe pain in the back while lifting objects, bending and straightening the spine
  • A feeling of locking in between a physical activity such as getting up from a chair
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain may radiate down into the legs and buttocks, generally affecting one side of the body
  • Numbness in the lower extremities and arms
  • The symptoms may get aggravated after prolonged sitting or standing
  • Laughing, coughing or sneezing may also induce pain

Diagnosis

  • Details of the patient’s medical history and lifestyle may be noted down
  • MRI and CT scan Severe pain in the back while lifting objects, bending and straightening the spine
  • X-ray imaging (in a sitting and standing position) may be required to study the changes in the bone structure
  • The doctor may probe the spine to recreate conditions that are likely to cause pain. This helps to diagnose the pattern of pain and the movements that cause it.

Treatment

  • Physical therapy may be effective in treating mild Spinal Instability as it focuses on strengthening the muscles in the spine.
  • Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed by the doctor.
  • Microdiscectomy- Surgical removal of the intervertebral disc that is impinging on the spinal nerve.
  • Spinal Fusion- Two or more spinal vertebrae are fused together to prevent any movement between them and improve the stability of the spine.

For treatment of Spinal Instability and other orthopedic conditions, visit OrthoTexas. To schedule an appointment with the spine surgeons in Frisco, you can call at (214) 618-5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Cervical Spondylosis: Orthopedic Frisco

by Administrator 22. August 2016 13:28

Cervical Spondylosis is the medical term for Arthritis of the neck. It is a degenerative disorder that affects the vertebrae and discs in the cervical spine. With age, the fluid between the vertebrae tend to dry up, which causes the discs to shrink and become stiff. This, in turn, exerts pressure on the entire spinal cord as the bones start rubbing against each other, leading to Cervical Spondylosis. The cartilage within the joints is also destroyed and the joint spaces are considerably reduced. The condition mainly affects the people between the age group of 40-65 years.

Causes

  • Natural wear and tear of the neck bones due to ageing
  • Direct injury to the spine due to a fall, vehicle accident or playing sports
  • Herniated Disc
  • Development of bone spurs which eventually press upon the nerve endings
  • Hereditary factors
  • Excessive weight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Poor posture that strains the neck for long time

Symptoms

  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Headache
  • Stiffness in upper part of the body
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sensation of needle pricks in the neck, arms, hands etc.
  • Pain may radiate to the back, hips and legs
  • Problem in reflexes
  • Change in gait or lack of balance while walking
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Weakness in arms
  • Standing, coughing or sneezing may aggravate the pain
  • Inability to grasp objects or holding on to them
  • Discomfort while lifting the arms

Diagnosis

  • A thorough physical examination of the neck and spine
  • Range of motion, reflexes and coordination may be tested by making the patient move the neck in different directions
  • X-ray imaging may be done by the doctor to analyze bone structure
  • MRI and CT scan may reveal pinched nerves, bone growths, ligament and other soft tissue injuries
  • The patient’s symptoms, previous medical records and family history may be analyzed
  • Nerve function tests and electromyogram may be conducted in some cases

Treatment

  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines and muscle relaxants
  • The spine specialist may recommend injecting steroids into the affected part to relieve inflammation
  • Manual neck traction may increase space between the collapsed joints
  • Physical therapy may help to strengthen muscles in the back, shoulder and neck
  • Surgical removal of bone spurs to reduce pressure on the nerves and vertebrae
  • Surgery may also be recommended for patients with Herniated Disc. The surgeon may remove the affected disc to create more space within the spine

OrthoTexas provides comprehensive treatment for Cervical Spondylosis and other spine conditions. To schedule an appointment with the spine surgeons in Frisco, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Congenital Scoliosis: Orthopedic Frisco

by Administrator 20. July 2016 09:14

Congenital Scoliosis can be defined as a sideways curvature of the spine due to a deformity present at birth. This means that the child’s spinal cord did not develop properly doing the initial four to five months of fetal growth. The condition is characterized by a twisted or rotated spine, which usually resembles the letter ‘C’ or ‘S’. Though the deformity is innate, the symptoms may not become apparent until the child attains adolescence.

Causes

  • One or more of the spinal vertebrae may form partially or completely fail to develop
  • Bones may not get separated as they should be
  • Absence of one or more bones in the spine
  • Formation of compensatory curves in the spine to balance the Scoliotic curves

Symptoms

  • Tilted or uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade may protrude more than the other
  • The head or upper body may tilt to either side
  • One hip may be higher than another
  • Uneven waistline
  • Tilted pelvis
  • Prominence of ribs on one side

Diagnosis

To diagnose Congenital Scoliosis, the spine surgeon may evaluate the child’s medical and family history. He may conduct a physical examination to look for the apparent symptoms. He may also check the reflexes in the abdomen and legs to rule out any nerve problem. Imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI and ultrasound may be performed to detect the exact abnormality that has led to the development of Scoliosis.

Treatment

If the scoliotic curve is much not significant, the spine specialist may monitor its progression by conducting X-rays after every few months during the growing years. Braces or cast may be used to treat a curve between 25 and 40 degrees. It may help to reduce the pressure on the spine and keep it in a more aligned position.

Surgical intervention may be required for children who:

  • Have significantly abnormal curves
  • Have curves that are worsening with growth
  • Have developed an abnormality of the spine
  • Are experiencing neurological problems, weakness, numbness or a loss of coordination due to the deformity

The spine surgeon may recommend spinal fusion to join the underdeveloped vertebrae so that they heal into a single bone. If the child is young, a ‘growing’ rod may be attached to the spine above and below the curve. After every few months, the surgeon may lengthen the rod to allow continued growth of the spine. Once the child has completely grown, a spinal fusion may be performed.

The spine surgeons at OrthoTexas specialize in the treatment of Congenital Scoliosis and other orthopedic conditions. Patients in Frisco, TX can call at (214) 618 – 5502 to schedule an appointment or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Spinal Arthritis: Orthopedic Treatment In Frisco

by Administrator 21. June 2016 08:09

Spinal Arthritis is a progressive disorder that gradually damages the facet joints, wears out the intervertebral discs and consequently affects other parts of the spine as well. It leads to the hardening of the vertebrae and hampers an individual’s ability to bend, move or twist. The condition most commonly affects the lower back as it bears the maximum body weight.

Causes

  • Direct injury or trauma to the spine
  • A spine surgery
  • Age related wear and tear of the cartilage between the vertebrae
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Use of corticosteroid injections
  • Overweight
  • Post-menopausal changes
  • Genetic disposition
  • Diabetes
  • Infection in the spine
  • Congenital defects in bone structure
  • Overuse
  • Vehicular accidents

Symptoms

  • Pain in the back, hips, thighs which may aggravate after physical activity
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Weakness in the legs, feet and arms
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness and warmth
  • Abnormal curving of the back
  • Crepitus

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination
  • Analysis of the patient’s medical and genetic history
  • X-ray imaging
  • MRI and CT scan to check for soft tissue, cartilage, tendon and nerve damage
  • Blood test may be done to check for infections
  • The patient may be asked to perform some exercises to assess the range of motion
  • Bone scan may be required

Treatment

  • Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the spine
  • Avoiding alcohol and smoking may prevent further degeneration of bones
  • Avoiding any activity which may cause discomfort and increase pain
  • Exercising to strengthen core muscles which support the spine and improve flexibility
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed
  • Application of ice packs or heat pads
  • Rest
  • Nutritional supplements to combat calcium deficiency
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotic devices may be prescribed to provide support to the back
  • Surgical intervention may be required for chronic or severe cases of Spinal Arthritis the following procedures may be recommended.
  1. Arthrodesis- Surgical fusion of the vertebrae
  2. Surgical replacement of the damaged disc using artificial implants
  3. Removal of bone spurs
  4. Surgical decompression of nerves in the spine
  5. Discectomy- Disc debris and bulges may be removed using minimally invasive techniques

The spine specialists at OrthoTexas provide comprehensive treatment for Spinal Arthritis. Patients in Frisco, TX can call at (214) 618 – 5502 to schedule an appointment or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Aquatic Therapy: Physical Therapy Frisco, TX

by Administrator 9. June 2016 09:21

Aquatic therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, is a technique which involves a set of exercises and movements performed in a pool, preferably heated, to provide relief from certain physical disorders and ailments. An aquatic therapy session may last up to 30-40 minutes depending upon patient‘s medical needs and physical abilities.

Aquatic therapy is helpful in treating the following conditions:

  • Neuromuscular and skeletal disorders
  • Pain and inflammation
  • Balance and gait problems
  • Postural deficits
  • Orthopedic conditions such as Arthritis, back pain, spinal injury etc.
  • Sore or sprained muscles

Benefits of aquatic therapy

  • Improves blood flow within the body besides preventing pooling of blood in the extremities
  • Improves cardiovascular functioning
  • Improves posture and stability of the trunk or the lumbar region
  • The hydrostatic pressure of the water slightly compress the skin, muscles and joints, which in turn aides blood circulation as well as helps to decrease swelling in the lower extremities.
  • The viscosity of water helps improve muscle tone and strength
  • The respiratory system and supporting muscles become stronger as exercising in water requires a lot of exhalations
  • Water offers a comfortable and therapeutic medium for exercise to those who find it difficult to work out on hard surfaces
  • Aquatic therapy is an excellent form of resistance exercise, without the use of any weight training equipment. The patient is required to exert more pressure to perform a specific movement, which helps to tone the muscles without causing any pain.
  • The joints are much less pressurized during the therapy. The increased blood flow prevents the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, thus avoiding fatigue and cramping. The therapy also prevents overuse injuries by reducing the level of stress on muscles, cartilage, or connective tissue.
  • Enhances flexibility
  • The patient can exercise comfortably for a longer duration as the buoyancy of the water reduces physical stress and the effect of gravity
  • Boosts the confidence of the patient as he/she feels less pain and stress while exercising and the range of motion is improved manifold

The physical therapists at OrthoTexas specialize in providing aquatic therapy to boost recovery from various orthopedic illnesses and injuries. They offer customized rehabilitation programs help patients regain their previous range of motion and prevent further injuries. Patients in Frisco can call at (214) 436 - 8997 to schedule an appointment or visit 2601 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 300, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Treatment Options For Sciatica: Frisco Spine

by Administrator 9. April 2016 06:13

The nerve roots that branch out towards the base of the spine together form the sciatic nerve which begins near the lower back and extends into the legs, feet and toes. Sciatica is a medical condition which causes pain, numbness and tingling sensation radiating from one side of the buttock downwards into the legs and feet. It generally affects only one side of the body

Causes

  • Spinal Stenosis- narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Development of bone spurs in the spine
  • Herniated Disc 
  • Arthritis
  • Compression of the nerve root
  • Pregnancy
  • Injuries to the spine
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal cancer

Symptoms

  • Tingling sensation
  • Numbness
  • Pain after sitting or standing for long duration 

Treatment

Sciatica symptoms and pain generally improve over a period of time. Some of the treatment options are mentioned below:

  • Heat therapy/Cryotherapy- In the initial stages of Sciatica, application of heat or ice packs may be recommended to alleviate pain. The patient can wrap ice cubes in a clean towel for application to prevent ice burns.  The patient may be advised to apply the pack every 2-3 hours for not more than 10 minutes each. Some patients may find relief by alternating between hot and cold therapy. 
  • Rest- The patient may be recommended to take rest to allow the body to heal. Avoiding bending or lifting heavy objects may also ease pain.
  • Injections- For patients with severe pain, the orthopedic doctor may recommend Injecting epidural medications to relieve the discomfort.
  • Medication- Prescription of anti-inflammatory medications may help to relieve pain, inflammation and muscle spasms. 
  • Exercising- Long walks, stretching the piriformis muscle (runs parallel to the sciatic nerve in the leg), water aerobics, lower abdominal crunches and strengthening muscles of the abdomen and back help may provide additional support to the sciatic nerve
  • Orthotics: Use of external support devices such as back brace, crutches and a walking cane can help relieve pressure on the nerve
  • Physical Therapy: Consulting a physical therapist may enables the patient to deal with his/her daily activities and shorten recovery period.
  • Surgery- It may be recommended only when the conservative methods of treatment fail to provide relief. Depending upon the cause of the condition, surgical treatment may involve removal of bone spurs, reduction of pressure on the nerve, repairing a damaged disc as well as enlarging the space within the spinal cavity 

We, at OrthoTexas, provide complete treatment for Sciatica and other spine conditions. To schedule an appointment with our orthopedic surgeons in Frisco, TX, call at (214) 618-5502.

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Spinal Cord Compression: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 7. March 2016 07:56

The spinal cord is an assembly of small bones (vertebrae), nerves and soft tissues which together work to transmit messages to the brain and vice versa. It runs from the base of the head down to the lower back. The nerves project out of the intervertebral spaces and connect with the muscles to send signals to the whole body.  Pressure in any part of the spine is referred to as Spinal Cord Compression.

Causes

  • Osteoarthritis- wear and tear of the spinal vertebrae due to the process of ageing
  • Tumor in the spine
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Inherent defect in the alignment of the spinal cord
  • Direct trauma to the spine
  • Bone disease or infection in the spinal cavity
  • Bone spurs may exert undue pressure on the spine
  • Fractures in the spinal cord
  • Damage or dislocation of the intervertebral discs
  • Accumulation of abscess (pus) around the spinal cord
  • Hardening of the connective tissues
  • Hematoma- accumulation of blood near or within the spine

Symptoms

  • Pain which can be severe and incapacitating
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Loss of sensation in the limbs
  • Stiffness in the arms, legs, back or neck
  • Sexual disorders
  • Inability to maintain body balance or movement
  • Sciatica- burning pain radiating into the arms, legs and hips
  • Disruption of bowel movements or urinary incontinence
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling of pricks and needles in the body

Diagnosis

  • The spine specialist may analyze the apparent symptoms, reflexes and weakness of limbs may be conducted
  • X-ray imaging may be required to assess the change in spine alignment or growth of bone spurs
  • MRI scans and CT scans may help to review the damage to soft tissues as well as other structures within the spinal cavity
  • Bone scans may also be performed
  • Electromyography- testing the muscle activities using electric currents
  • Myelogram- injecting a dye into the spine before conducting a scan

Treatment

  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers
  • Administering steroid injections into the spinal cavity
  • Use of a cervical collar or removable brace to support the spine
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and restore mobility
  • Surgical removal of bone spurs or tumors
  • Surgical fusion of vertebrae to enhance the stability of the spinal cord
  • Cold or heat therapy may help to reduce pain and swelling
  • Radiation or chemotherapy may be required to destroy the tumor if it compresses the spine
  • Drainage of accumulated pus or blood
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed in case of an infection
  • Surgical insertion of metal screws, wires and rods to stabilize as well as rectify the spinal alignment

For diagnosis and treatment of Spinal Cord Compression, visit OrthoTexas. To schedule an appointment with the spine specialists in Frisco, TX, call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Adult Spondylolisthesis In The Low Back: Orthopedic Frisco

by Administrator 14. November 2015 12:11

Spondylolisthesis is a traumatic injury that occurs when a vertebra slips forward over an underlying bone. The condition usually occurs as a result of age related degeneration of the spine.  Also known as Lumbar Spondylolisthesis, it can cause mild to severe pain in the lower back and legs. Mainly, there are two types of Spondylolisthesis that can be seen in adults:

  • Degenerative Spondylolisthesis: It occurs due to degenerative wear and tear of the spinal vertebrae. Changes in the normal spine anatomy lead to buckling of the discs and may subsequently loosen the vertebra, causing it to slide forward.
  • Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis: In this, the vertebra slips due to a break in any of the bones in the lower back. Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis causes only the front part of the bone to move, therefore, it does not put pressure on the spinal canal.

Causes

  • Congenital spinal deformity
  • Traumatic spinal fracture
  • Performing repetitive or highly stressful activities
  • Bone degeneration due to age or overuse
  • Spinal Arthritis

Symptoms

  • Persistent pain in the lower back
  • Tenderness around the site of prolapsed vertebra
  • Stiffness in buttocks, thighs and legs
  • Tight hamstring muscles
  • Numbness and weakness in legs
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control, in rare cases

Diagnosis

After evaluating the symptoms and medical history, the orthopedic doctor may examine the patient’s back. He may exert pressure on specific areas and ask the patient to bend towards the back, front or sideways to look for limitations in movement. Imaging tests that may be conducted in order to confirm the diagnosis include X-ray, MRI, and CT scan.

Treatment

  • Medication: The orthopedic doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and analgesics to relieve the symptoms of Lumbar Spondylolisthesis.
  • Physical Therapy: Performing certain exercises can help to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the abdomen as well as lower back.
  • Back Brace: Wearing a back brace may also help to provide support to the spine and speed up the healing process.
  • Surgery: If conservative treatment does not provide relief, surgery may be recommended. The most commonly recommended procedures include Spinal Stabilization and Fusion. The surgery aims at releasing pressure off the spinal cord or nerves and restoring the stability of the spine.

For diagnosis and treatment of adult Spondylolisthesis in the low back, visit OrthoTexas. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctors in Frisco, TX, call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Spinal injury: Orthopedic Treatment In Frisco

by Administrator 12. October 2015 10:48

The spinal cord comprises of a group of nerves that travel from the base of the skull down to the back. A spinal injury occurs when any of the parts of these nerves are damaged, leading to a loss of strength, sensation and decreased functioning of body parts below the site of wound. Unlike other injuries, a spinal injury does not heal on its own and requires comprehensive treatment. Depending upon severity, a spinal cord injury may be classified as:

  • Complete Injury: It is characterized by a complete loss of sensory and motor functioning below the affected region.
  • Incomplete Injury: This involves a partial damage to sensory and motor functioning in body parts that are below the injured area of the spinal cord.

Causes

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Fall from a height
  • Direct blow or impact to the spine
  • Gunshot or stabbing wounds
  • Sports related injuries
  • Spinal cord compression due to a tumor, infection or inflammation
  • Electric shock
  • Low bone density
  • Landing on the head during sports
  • Excessive twisting of the lumbar spine
  • Diving injuries

Symptoms

  • Pain and stiffness in the head, neck or back
  • Reduced sensation
  • Loss of movement
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the arms and legs
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Difficulty walking
  • Weakness and muscle spasms
  • Unusually positioned head
  • Exaggerated reflex actions
  • Pain while breathing, coughing or sneezing

Treatment

During the initial phase of treatment, the orthopedic surgeon may focus on maintaining the patient’s ability to breathe, immobilizing the body to prevent further damage, preventing trauma and avoiding other serious complications. Following this, he may recommend any of the following treatment options:

  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed to the patient to reduce damage to the nerve cells and ease the symptoms of the spinal injury. 
  • Immobilization: The patient may be advised to stabilize the spine and restore its normal alignment with the help of traction. Wearing a tight neck collar may also help if the cervical spine is injured.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove herniated discs, foreign bodies, bone fragments or fractured vertebrae that may put pressure on the spine. It can also help to prevent any spinal deformity.

The surgeons at OrthoTexas provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for spinal injury. To schedule an appointment with the spine surgeons in Frisco, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Spinal Stenosis

by Administrator 25. August 2015 13:11

Spinal Stenosis is an orthopedic condition that causes constriction of the space in the spinal canal. This puts pressure on the vertebrae and nerve roots in the spine, leading to a pinching sensation in the lower back, legs, neck, shoulders or arms. The condition most commonly affects the lumbar spine and causes pain along the back of the leg. Spinal Stenosis is usually a result of age related wear and tear of the spine.

Causes

  • Aging: As people age, the connective tissues between the spinal vertebrae begin to stiffen, leading to the development of bone spurs. This, in turn, weakens the vertebral discs and facet joints in the spinal canal. All these factors cause narrowing of the spinal canal.
  • Genetic Factors: People who have a congenitally shorter spinal canal or anatomical deformities in the vertebrae may develop Spinal Stenosis. 
  • Instability Of The Spine: The spinal canal can also narrow when one vertebra slips on the other.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis causes gradual degeneration of the discs that provide cushioning to the spinal vertebrae. This may result in narrowing of the space between the bones in the spine.
  • Trauma: Injuries to the spine may dislocate or fracture the bones that produce fragments penetrating through the spinal canal.

Symptoms

  • Severe pain
  • Numbness and weakness in the legs, arms, shoulders or neck
  • Tingling and pinching sensation in the legs
  • Pins and needles feeling
  • Pain reduces while bending forward
  • Difficulty walking
  • Clumsiness and frequent falling
  • Abnormal bowel or bladder function

Treatment

  • Medications: The orthopedic doctor may prescribe certain anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and discomfort.
  • Injections: In cases of severe pain, injections may be administered into the spine to provide immediate relief.
  • Rest: Taking sufficient rest and refraining from activities that may strain the back can help to ease the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis.
  • Activity Modification: The patient may also be recommended to make certain changes in his posture while doing daily activities. These may include leaning forward while walking, lying with the knees elevated, sitting on a recliner in place of a chair with a straight back. This can help to increase the space in the spinal canal and control the symptoms associated with the condition.
  • Exercise: Staying physically active is important to maintain muscle strength and flexibility. Performing exercises, as instructed by the physical therapist, may also help to improve balance and regain spinal stability.
  • Surgery: It may be recommended if the conservative treatment options fail to provide relief. During the procedure, the spine surgeon may remove the bony growths and bone fragments to free up the constricted space.

OrthoTexas, Frisco provides complete diagnosis and treatment for Spinal Stenosis. To schedule an appointment with our orthopedic surgeon, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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