Don’t Live with Back Pain, Learn about Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing in one or more areas of the spine due to injury or deterioration of the discs, joints or bones within the spinal canal. There are two main types of this condition:
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – This condition affects the lower back and lumbar area. Its symptoms will often be felt in the lower back, buttocks, and legs
Cervical Spinal Stenosis – This condition affects the neck and cervical spine. Its symptoms will often be felt in the neck, shoulders, and arms
If you think you have spinal stenosis, contact our offices in Dallas, TX, and Addison, TX to learn more.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
Most cases of spinal stenosis develop later in life as a result of degenerative changes that occur in the spine. Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of spinal stenosis. A herniated disc, ligament changes or spinal tumors can also cause spinal stenosis. These conditions initiate the deterioration of the cartilage in the area and lead to the bones rubbing against each other and forming bone spurs. The bone spurs make the spinal canal smaller, and press on the spinal cords or nerve roots and cause symptoms similar to that of a herniated disc, except that the pressure is applied to the entire spinal cord. This leads to pain that can spread down the neck and back all the way down the arms and legs.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Patients with spinal stenosis may experience cramping, pain, and numbness in the legs, back, neck, shoulders or arms. A loss of sensation, loss of balance and bladder malfunctioning may also occur. It can also cause a loss of control and strength in the arms and legs.
Diagnosing Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is often difficult to diagnose. The symptoms can come and go and may resemble the symptoms of other conditions. A diagnosis of spinal stenosis is usually achieved only after ruling out other conditions. At our offices in Dallas and Addison, TX, our neurosurgeons will perform imaging exams such as a spinal X-ray, MRI, CT scan and bone scan as well as ask questions about your symptoms and overall health to correctly diagnose your condition.
Spinal Stenosis Treatment Options
Your treatment options for spinal stenosis will very depending on the severity of your situation and pain you feel. Your neurosurgeon will discuss your options in full detail during your consultation at our offices in Dallas and Addison, TX. With most cases of spinal stenosis, your can be effectively treated through conservative, non-invasive methods, including:
- Physical Therapy
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Back Brace
For more severe cases, surgery may be the only effective treatment in relieving pressure on the spinal cord and join the damaged bone back to its normal state. Surgical procedures include
- Decompressive Laminectomy
What is Foraminal Stenosis?
A subtype of spinal stenosis is foraminal stenosis. This condition is caused by a narrowing of the foramen, the opening within each of the spinal bones that allow nerve roots to pass through. As a result of aging or other musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, the foramen may gradually develop bone spurs that can press on the nerves, causing pain and other symptoms.
Patients with this condition may experience numbness, weakness, and tingling sensations throughout the arms and legs, depending on which area of the spine is affected.
Effective treatment of foraminal stenosis can usually be achieved through nonsurgical techniques including anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid shots, physical therapy exercises or wearing a brace. Those patients whose conditions do not respond may require a surgical procedure called foraminotomy.