Spinal Narrow Canal (Spinal Stenosis)
As to describe our nervous system very briefly, the spinal cord that comes out of our brain descends in a channel inside of our spine, usually to the L1 level. There is no spinal cord below this level. Still, nevertheless, the nerves that help us keep our legs in motion and hold our urine and stool continue down to the bottom of our tail bone. We call this tubular structure, which contains the spinal cord and nerves, a “spinal canal.”
Our spine consists of joints between each vertebra. The widening inward, due to wear off and senescence of these joints over the years, or the hernia due to the wear off the discs in our lower back partially occupying the channel, causes the canal to narrow. We feel the nerve compression here as pain.
The channel is at its narrowest during standing and walking. Therefore patients with narrow canals are relatively comfortable while sitting, and they complain of increasingly aggravating pain in their legs while standing and walking. The difference from the stenosis pain is that it occurs only when standing, even if the patient does not move. The narrow canal in the waist does not result in a real stroke unless it reaches very, very advanced levels. However, since patients have sharp pain just by standing up and walking, they can lose their movement over time and become almost bedridden.
The narrow canal is a disease that seriously affects the quality of life, and the ideal treatment is to receive surgical treatment as soon as your life starts changing.
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
It is a widespread genetic-based disease. It is not a posture disorder; it is a condition that needs to be taken very seriously.
Firstly, the overall health of scoliosis patients is unlikely to be affected by this condition. Most scoliosis stops at a certain point without the need for any treatment. It does not adversely affect the patient’s life in any way. Some of these conditions progress due to the rapid increase of one’s length due to puberty and require treatment.
In patients who are diagnosed early and with the potential to reach a dangerous level, the treatment applied to prevent this progress is generally using a corset, and it can be really effective in approximately one-third of the children. In scoliosis, which has the potential to exceed the critical degree, surgery is applied both to prevent progression and to correct the deformity.
Surgery is generally recommended in patients whose waist curvatures exceed 40 degrees, and back curvatures exceed 50 degrees. Using a corset or surgery in the treatment of scoliosis is not a punishment for the patient, they are quite safe treatments that we recommend to solve an existing problem.
Regardless, whether their disease progresses or not, or whether they require treatment or not, patients with scoliosis live healthy lives. Scoliosis is not a disease that causes permanent disability.
Spinal Curvature in Adults
Spinal curvatures (scoliosis or kyphosis) are also common diseases in adults. Usually, they occur when a curve in childhood or adolescence continues or progresses in adult ages or deforms the patient’s spine, especially with the advancement of age.
Wear and arthritis accompanied by curvature over time may cause severe pain in the waist and back, and accompanying canal narrowing may cause severe pain in legs. Pain is a problem, and if it comes to an uncomfortable level, it needs to be resolved. Due to pain or severe bending forward, patients may become unable to perform daily activities (shopping, cooking, going to work, walking, and relieving oneself in advance situations). Further advance humpbacks can narrow the patient’s’ chest cages, causing severe respiration and cardiac problems.
The important thing in both types is not that the patient has a curvature, but the patient has discomfort due to this curvature. Spinal curvatures can affect the patient adversely in terms of appearance. This condition shouldn’t be underestimated, we all want to like ourselves and to be liked by others, this is one of the most essential elements in our life.
If none of these conditions exist; If the patient is satisfied with his/her appearance, does not have pain, continues his/her healthy life, we do not recommend any treatment other than regular sports to stay fit.
But if at least one of these conditions exists, then treatment is required. Early pains usually respond to regular sports and exercise programs. Still, if there is no response to the initial approach or there is dissatisfaction with the appearance, and life is difficult, etc., then surgery is recommended.
The results of the surgeries performed for this disease depend very much on the age of the patient and their condition at the time of surgery. Therefore, we recommend our patients to consider getting treatment without waiting until their life starts to be affected severely.