Severe degenerative changes related to arthritis are usually seen in x-ray images. However, the extent of spinal stenosis and severity of cord compression may be more properly evaluated with other imaging techniques such as CT scan, myelogram and MRI.
Conservative treatment using pain medications and physiotherapy are more effective for mild to moderate cases of spine arthritis. For serious spinal stenosis decompression of the spine with surgical methods is more effective.
Surgery must be considered when neurologic symptoms like numbness and weakness are present to prevent permanent loss of function or paralysis. This is also true to bowel and bladder problems which are more serious signs of nerve compression.
You'd better consult with your doctor if you are concerned about a minimally invasive spinal stenosis surgery.
Keyword: severe spinal stenosis prognosis