Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the space in the spinal canal that is reserved for the spinal cord and the nerves that exit this area. When this area becomes narrowed, it places pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves leading to neurological symptoms. They might experience buttocks pain, cramps in legs, difficulty walking, and even sciatica. Sometimes the back and leg pain are made better when leaning forward and walking such as leaning on a shopping cart. Spinal stenosis is most commonly observed in the lower back and the neck but occasionally presents in the middle back as well.

Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis

Experiencing severe pain in your lower back and legs can have a significant impact on your life. Spinal stenosis occurs when the space in the spinal canal that is reserved for the spinal cord and nerves begins to narrow. When this area narrows, it places pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves and can lead to neurological symptoms. Individuals with spinal stenosis might experience buttocks pain, cramps in their legs, difficulty walking, and even sciatica. Spinal stenosis is most commonly observed in the lower back and the neck, but it occasionally presents in the middle of the back as well.

If you are struggling with persistent pain from spinal stenosis, a spinal specialist from Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery can help. We offer personalized and innovative treatment plans to fit each of our patient’s unique needs. When you trust us with your care, you can rest assured that your spinal health is in the hands of a seasoned legal professional. 

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition that affects the spinal canal and reduces the amount of space available for spinal nerves and the cervical spinal cord. Since the spinal cord is not present in the lumbar section of the spinal canal, the spinal cord is not compressed when spinal stenosis affects the lower back. 

However, lumbar spinal stenosis can cause difficulty walking as well as persistent pain. If the spinal cord is being compressed in the neck region, this condition may also be referred to as cervical myelopathy. Cervical myelopathy can be severe and may require immediate decompression depending on the intensity of the compression.

How Do I Know If I Have Spinal Stenosis?

Symptoms of spinal stenosis are quite similar to other conditions that involve nerve compression. Spinal stenosis in the neck can cause pain, numbness, and tingling to radiate into the arms. When spinal stenosis is seen in the lower back, patients will primarily feel symptoms in their legs. Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include the following:

  • Back pain along the nerve path
  • Increased pain while standing or walking
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscular weakness
  • Loss of reflexes
  • A condition known as foot drop that causes feet to slap on the ground while walking

Do you have any of these symptoms and believe you may be suffering from spinal stenosis? Try our quick and easy tool to help us determine the cause of your pain and set you on the road to recovery.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Conditions that develop and take up space in the spinal canal are generally responsible for spinal stenosis. A few conditions that can lead to spinal stenosis may include:

At Orthopedic & Laser Spinal Surgery, our spinal specialists will work with you to determine the cause of your injury and determine the best possible treatment for your unique pain. 

What Is the Right Treatment For Me?

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery provides a wide range of treatment options to meet our patients’ unique needs. Our doctors are among the most experienced and best trained in treating spinal stenosis and we are able to perform many advanced treatments other practices are unable to offer.

Common spinal stenosis treatments include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, pain medication, exercise, and chiropractic adjustments. Treatment in the early stages of the condition tends to be less intense than during the later stages. When conservative treatments have been exhausted, it may be in your best interest to consider surgery.

The real question is: What treatment is best to treat your unique spinal stenosis? Use our Treatment Match Tool to quickly get started in finding the right treatment for you.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis

If a condition causing inflammation to push into the spinal canal is to blame, anti-inflammatory medication and treatment of the underlying condition may be the right treatment for you.  Physical therapy that puts an emphasis on strengthening core muscles and provides support for the spinal column is a common non-surgical treatment option.  

In some instances where inflammation is not being reduced by oral methods or physical therapy, a corticosteroid medication may be delivered to the injured site through an injection. Corticosteroid injections can help target the problem area with a stronger anti-inflammatory and often provides better results. 

Surgical Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis

If two to three months of conservative non-surgical treatments fail to yield favorable results, surgical intervention may be needed. The type of surgery that is required will depend on which underlying condition is causing the stenosis. 

If the patient suffers from a herniated disc, a procedure known as a discectomy could provide the patient with significant relief. The goal of a discectomy procedure is to gain access to a damaged vertebral disc, remove the herniated material, provide support to the area to allow the disc to heal, and also help prevent future disc herniation. A traditional open back discectomy will require a large incision, general anesthesia, and a hospital stay of one to two days. Depending on whether complications arise, the recovery period may be between two weeks to one month.  

If a spinal fusion is required to stabilize the spine after the discectomy, a longer stay in the hospital will be required, and recovery time will increase drastically.

Is There a Better Approach to a Discectomy Procedure?

Depending on the size of the disc herniation, the patient may elect to take a much easier approach to the surgery. Through an endoscopic discectomy, the surgeon will only need to make an incision about the size of a postage stamp. General anesthesia will not be required and barring complications, there should be no stay in the hospital. The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting with the patient being allowed to leave after a few hours of post-surgery monitoring. 

Since this revolutionary form of surgery does not require cutting or tearing of the soft tissues and muscles, recovery is typically very quick and patients who undergo endoscopic discectomy surgery are usually back at work within one or two weeks.

Discuss Your Back Pain With a Talented Spinal Specialist at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

If you believe you have spinal stenosis, you should not be forced to live with the pain. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, our spinal specialists are dedicated to personalizing your treatment plan to your unique needs. Our doctors and surgeons are well-versed in cutting-edge and minimally invasive treatments that prioritize our patient’s comfort through every step of the road to recovery. To learn more about how we can help, call us at (855) 853-6542 or complete our online contact form today.