The spinal cord and spinal nerves are surrounded by protective vertebrae and ligaments that hold those vertebrae together.
The spinal cord and spinal nerves are surrounded by protective vertebrae and ligaments that hold those vertebrae together. In a healthy spine, these vertebrae and ligaments offer plenty of room for the spinal cord and nerves. Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal that applies pressure to the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis causes pain in the lower back, which often radiates through the buttocks and into the legs.
Cervical Spinal Stenosis causes pain in the neck, which often radiates into the shoulders and arms.
In most cases, these symptoms occur gradually, increasing over time until they become debilitating. Advanced stages of spinal stenosis can result in neurological deficits including, but not limited to: pain, numbness, tingling, loss of motor control and, in some cases of lumbar stenosis, incontinence.
Spinal Stenosis is seen most often in patients over 50 years of age. Some people under 50 may develop Spinal Stenosis, but this is generally due to a genetic issue that influences bone and muscle development.
The cause of most Spinal Stenosis is osteoarthritis. Other common causes include:
Tumors and/or other abnormal growths
To diagnose Spinal Stenosis, Dr. Skaliy conducts a physical evaluation of the spine, as well as an MRI scan. Medical imaging is important, because many symptoms of Spinal Stenosis resemble other age-related medical problems.
Traditional treatments for Spinal Stenosis
Traditional Spinal Stenosis treatments can be surgical or non-surgical. Non-surgical treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, exercise and weight loss.
The effectiveness of non-surgical treatments is unclear. While these treatments may offer temporary pain relief, they cannot fix the underlying cause of the pain.
For advanced cases of Spinal Stenosis, orthopedists often suggest Spinal Fusion surgery. Spinal Fusion is a highly-invasive operation that involves removing the roof of bone overlying the spinal canal and the insertion of bars and screws into the spine to stabilize the affected area. In addition to the risks common to any surgery, drawbacks to Spinal Fusion surgery include:
Degeneration around other spinal discs
Extended hospital stays
Painful physical therapy
And, after enduring significant pain and facing those risks, patients who elect Spinal Fusion surgery may still suffer from intense, chronic pain.
There is no reason for you to endure the pain or risk permanent numbness, weakness or paralysis that can be caused by Spinal Stenosis. Schedule an appointment today to find out what your options are.
Better options to treat Spinal Stenosis
Atlanta Spine Specialists have been offering regenerative medicine to help patients with spinal stenosis. Not all patients are candidates for this treatment but we are happy to provide you with a consultation to see if you are a candidate for this procedure. Please call our office to schedule your consultation today.
At Atlanta Spine Specialist we are dedicated to helping people live a full life.
Please call our office to learn more about these options (770) 844-3242.