Using Spinal Injections for the Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

 

Spinal Stenosis pic
Spinal Stenosis
Image: mayfieldclinic.com

Dr. Ilyas Munshi is currently a neurosurgeon in Lafayette, Louisiana. He focuses on the treatment of brain and spine complications. As part of his practice, Dr. Ilyas Munshi uses spinal injections to treat his patients.

A spinal injection is a combination of a local anesthetic pain relief medicine and corticosteroid. A corticosteroid is a strong anti-inflammatory medication. The local anesthetic medication will provide pain relief immediately. The spinal injection will be injected in the space around the nerve roots and spinal cord. An injection is usually used when the symptoms are coming from spinal stenosis, and other nonsurgical treatments aren’t working the way they should to take care of the pain.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of open spaces within the spine and it can put pressure on the spinal cord, as well as the nerves that travel throughout the spine to the legs and arms. Spinal stenosis usually appears in the neck and lower back. Lumbar spinal stenosis can cause pain that comes from the lower spine and goes down to the legs and hips. The injections may relieve pain for 2-3 weeks. The injections will help manage pain, but will not cure spinal stenosis.

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Dr. Ilyas Munshi on the Neuronavigation Procedure

There are three steps that need to be taken in order for a doctor to use neuronavigation during a surgery.

1. First, depending on whether it’s the bony structures or the soft tissues being operated on, the patient must have a CAT scan or an MRI done. In the former, bones serve as natural landmarks that can be used during registration (a process discussed in the third step). However, in soft-tissue surgeries for which an MRI is done instead, there are no such natural landmarks on which to rely; in these procedures, sponge-like fiducials that are visible on an MRI are placed on the patient’s head instead.

2. In the second step, these images are downloaded onto a computer, and a three-dimensional model of the brain, spine, or sinus is made.

3. Lastly, the computer-generated model must be mapped to the actual structures of the patient in a process called registration. Registration is the process of touching an area on the patient using a probe, and then touching the corresponding area on the screen. This is done many times, until a correlation can be made between the image and the patient. After these three steps, the surgeon can readily utilize neuronavigation during the surgery.

Board-certified neurosurgeon Dr. Ilyas Munshi specializes in several areas, including minimally-invasive surgery and using neuronavigation technology during computer-assisted image-guided surgery.