Stenosis & Spondylolisthesis: When to Call a Milwaukee Spine Surgeon

Stenosis & Spondylolisthesis: When to Call a Milwaukee Spine Surgeon

Your back is a vital part of your body, and when it hurts, you’re often left feeling miserable or unable to perform even the most basic day-to-day tasks. Whether your back pain is the result of an injury, a recently developed condition, or something you’ve struggled with all your life, you know what an impact it can have on your physical and mental wellbeing.

Today, we’ll discuss two such spinal conditions that may require surgery in order to provide you with the relief you need: Spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. If you live in Milwaukee and need a Spine Surgeon, here’s what you need to know.

Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis is a condition that is often associated with older individuals, but the truth is that it can occur at any time throughout your life. As you age, your spinal canal may begin to narrow due to the normal wear and tear of the spine. This narrowing of the spinal canal is what characterizes stenosis, and it can vary in its severity from acute to very serious cases. Some individuals may even be born with congenital stenosis, which means that their spinal canal is naturally narrow.

In either case, the narrow nature of the spinal canal can cause the spinal discs to put pressure on the surrounding nerves. If you suffer from spinal stenosis, you may experience a variety of symptoms that include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the limbs. You may even find that your bladder and bowels begin to be affected by this condition.

As your spinal cord continues to experience pressure, it can lead to severe pain and begin to affect your mobility. When the pain increases in severity, and you find yourself no longer able to walk or perform normal, day-to-day tasks, it may be time to seek surgical treatment.


Spondylolisthesis is a spine problem that, like stenosis, is either acquired or congenital. It occurs when one of your vertebrae slides forward or backward over the vertebra below it. This condition can also become very painful, as it may put pressure on your spinal nerves.

Symptoms of this spinal condition may include pain in the buttocks, difficulty walking, pain in either one or both of the legs, and pain when bending over. It occurs especially often in young teenagers who are involved in sports. Because the spine takes a lot of wear and tear in sports, your vertebra can get tiny fractures which can cause them to slip out of place. Additionally, if you suffer any kind of physical trauma, such as a car accident, your spine may sustain damage and you could develop spondylolisthesis.

When this condition gets severe and begins to affect your mobility and general quality of life, it’s time to seek guidance from a professional. The surgical options could include either decompression or fusion. Your doctor will advise you as to which procedure will work best for your unique case.

In decompression surgery, the doctor will remove a portion of the vertebra called the lamina. This procedure is minimally invasive, and usually has a recovery period of only a few days.

Fusion surgery reduces motion in the injured area of the spine. Because moving vertebrae can lead to a number of other spinal conditions, fusion works by immobilizing the moving discs and, therefore, helping to reduce and eliminate pain.

Back pain can be more than just a nuisance; it can adversely affect your day-to-day life. When your quality of life begins to deteriorate, you should begin your research on a qualified and skilled spine surgeon.

Need Back Pain Relief in the Milwaukee area? 

No one should have to live with back pain, and if you live in the Milwaukee area, it’s important to know a knowledgeable, experienced and skilled spine surgeon. To learn more about back pain relief and the assistance our team can provide, please contact back and spine specialist Dr. Branko Prpa today.

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