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Spinal Decompression Surgery

The medical team involved in treating your spinal cord compression may include arthritis specialists, bone surgeons, nerve specialists, and physical therapists. Treatment depends on the cause and your symptoms and may involve medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. Except in cases of emergency, such as cauda equina syndrome or a broken back, surgery is usually the last resort.

  • Medicines may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that relieve pain and swelling, and steroid injections that reduce swelling.
  • Physical therapy may include exercises to strengthen your back, abdominal, and leg muscles. You may learn how to do activities more safely. Braces to support your back or a cervical collar may also be helpful.
  • Surgical treatments include removing bone spurs and widening the space between vertebrae. Other procedures may be done to relieve pressure on the spine or repair fractured vertebrae. The back may also be stabilized by fusing some of the vertebrae together.

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Some other treatments that may be helpful for some people include acupuncture and chiropractic care.