Dr. Johnson’s lecture on Spinal Stenosis to the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center

Posted On: June 25, 2012

On Tuesday June 19, 2012 I gave a spinal stenosis lecture to the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center. I gave this particular lecture to the Highland Park Senior Center about one year ago and it was well received.

Though there were only fifteen or so in attendance, the group was awesome. They asked questions and shared their stories in such a way as to enrich the learning and the teaching experience.

The message of this lecture is very important and it is as follows:

  1. Degenerative spinal stenosis is common
  2. All lower back pain is not stenosis
  3. Pain referring into extremities is key to the diagnosis
  4. Imaging studies (MRI, CT etc.) will identify areas of stenosis
  5. A positive imaging study for degenerative stenosis without referral into the extremities is not clinically important
  6. There was 15 fold increase in complex fusion procedures in the Medicare population from 2002 to 2007
  7. These procedures are no more effective than simpler spinal decompression procedures
  8. There are more complications and deaths with complex fusion procedures when compared spinal decompression procedures
  9. Costs for complex fusion procedures were 80,888.00 per patient vs. 23,724.00 for spinal decompression procedures
  10. The evidence for the effectiveness of epidural injections is mixed at best
  11. There is evidence that conservative care in the form of chiropractic flexion distraction and physical therapy is effective in helping two thirds of the patients with lumbar spinal stenosis with leg pain
  12. Almost all patients should fail at conservative care before considering surgery

My goal was to make the Medicare patients wary consumers of medical procedures with regards to symptomatic spinal stenosis. Like the Highland Park seniors the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff seniors were sharp and receptive. The overall response to my lecture was favorable and the attendees seemed to absorb the information I presented quite well. As a both a chiropractic physician and a physical therapist, I feel that this message is very important from a public health perspective. Though it was only fifteen people, there are now fifteen more people that understand the proper treatment for symptomatic spinal stenosis.

To learn more about our practice visit us at www.northshorerehab.com. To schedule an appointment, please call our Lake Forest, Lake Bluff office at 847.295.0920, or our Highland Park office at 847.432.4077. You may also use our online Request an Appointmentform.

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