Posted: November 8th, 2023
Ms Sarah Smith provides a brief and accurate description of spinal stenosis, from its causal elements to symptoms. According to the post, the chronic disease entails the narrowing of spaces located within an individual’s spine. As a result, nerves experience an abnormal amount of pressure, especially in the lower back and neck (Deer et al. 2019). Sarah’s decision to employ a bullet point approach to the symptoms makes it easier to recall. However, I wished to get further information to understand how the different symptoms manifest and interplay as the disease progresses. Such an understanding is critical as research statistics outline that over 200000 adults in the United States experience substantial pain due to the condition (Deer et al. 2019). Informative in the post are the criteria for diagnosis. Before the post, I did not fully understand what a gold standard in MRI assessments meant. Sarah’s criteria for diagnosis was an important learning point.
While the post highlights the different treatment methods, there is little information on which are most suitable. Moreover, I would have preferred the post to indicate which treatment methods are applicable at different stages of the disease’s progression. I appreciate how the post lists the different non-surgical management methods, such as physiotherapy and spinal injections. As Deer et al. (2019) highlight, insufficient scientific evidence covers conservative management approaches. Sarah goes the extra mile to indicate why non-surgical methods are not popular in medical practice. According to the post, conservative management is a lifelong endeavour, which increases the likelihood of patients developing resistance or tolerance to medications. This was another important learning point from the post. The patient should forego medication and opt for elective surgery when symptoms deteriorate.
Deer, T., Sayed, D., Michels, J., Josephson, Y., Li, S., & Calodney, A. K. (2019). A review of lumbar spinal stenosis with intermittent neurogenic claudication: disease and diagnosis. Pain Medicine (Malden, Mass.), 20(Suppl 2), S32–S44. https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnz161
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