The center of the spine houses the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis results when the spinal canal narrows. If the space is narrowed (stenosis) pressure can be placed on the spinal cord or the nerves coming out of it, which can cause pain. As with many spinal injuries, it most often occurs in the neck (cervical) or lower back (lumbar) regions.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
The symptoms for stenosis vary greatly, In some cases, a stenosis will cause no pain. In others, the pain experienced will depend on the location of the stenosis.
Numbness/Tingling/Weakness in leg, foot, arm, or hand
Some people have a naturally smaller spinal canal that has the potential to cause problems later in life, but usually a stenosis follows an event such as:
Bone Spurs in the spine
Fractures/Dislocations as a result of trauma(such as a car accident)
Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
After a diagnosis, tests should be done to determine the severity of the stenosis so a proper prognosis can be formed. There are several different treatments, many of which are non-surgical (preferable) such as:
If non-surgical methods do not provide relief, a laminectomy or laminotomy may be recommended. A laminectomy or laminotomy is a surgical procedure where a part of the vertebral bone called the lamina is partially (laminotomy) or entirely (laminectomy) removed to eliminate the pressure to the spinal cord or nerves. In some cases, a lamioplasty may be performed instead which places a hinge to open up space for the spinal cord instead of removing the lamina. A lamioplasty, allows for more stability and movement and can eliminate the need for future operations to stabilize the spine.
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