Stenosis

Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal or the foramen, the opening through which nerve roots pass. Stenosis can develop in any area of the spine. Degenerative changes in the spine, a collapsed disc, bone spurs, or cysts can cause the spinal canal to narrow. This narrowing places pressure on the nerve roots and/or spinal cord, often resulting in pain, decreased walking distance, and occasional radiation into the extremities.

Symptoms

Cervical

  1. Stiffness in neck
  2. Weakness in arms causing difficulty using the hands
  3. Pain and Numbness in hands and/or arms
  4. Balance and/or dexterity difficulties

Lumbar

  1. Tired, heavy feeling in back, buttocks, and legs while walking or standing
  2. Cramping sensation in these areas
  3. Decreased walking due to weakness, numbness or pain in legs
  4. Needing to lean forward on grocery carts

Causes

Cervical

  1. Arthritic changes in neck
  2. Bone spurs push on nerves and spinal cord
  3. Compression can be caused by disc herniations

Lumbar

  1. Degenerative and/or pathological changes limit nerve space; lack of blood supply induces symptoms

Possible Treatment Options

  1. Non Operative Treatment - Medications, physical therapy and/or spinal steroid injections are indicated for pain relief. Surgery can be considered for those who do not improve.
  2. Operative Treatment - If indicated, surgical treatment options vary depending on the cause. Options that your surgeon may discuss include: Simple Decompression, Decompression and Fusion, Anterior and/or Posterior Decompression with Interbody Fusion (ALIF/PLIF).