Central canal stenosis treatment is designed to alleviate painful nerve compression that can occur when space in the spinal canal becomes restricted due to degenerative changes in the spine. In a healthy spine, the central vertebral canal acts as a sheath, protecting the spinal cord and its nerve roots from damage. Over time, this canal can gradually narrow, eventually constricting the neural structures it is intended to protect. Nerve compression causes neck or back pain, commonly requiring treatment. Often, nerve compression and the subsequent pain can be temporarily managed or alleviated with conservative treatment. However, stenosis is often progressive. Continued degeneration means progressive narrowing. For some patients, central canal stenosis treatment could include surgical adjustment.
Spinal stenosis is a common form of spine degeneration that frequently accompanies the natural aging process. As the spinal anatomy slowly degenerates, the resulting inflammation in the vertebral canal stimulates bone growth. This further narrows the spinal canal. This whole destructive cascade may be initiated by:
- Degenerative disc disease – deteriorated intervertebral discs bulge or herniate into the spinal canal
- Osteoarthritis – inflamed facet joints swell into the canal
- Injured soft tissue – injured tendons, muscles or ligaments swell and limit canal space
- Spondylolisthesis – a misaligned vertebrae greatly limits the space in the spinal canal
- Bone spurs – osteophytes grow in the spinal column and compress the cord
The aforementioned conditions can eventually lead to painful nerve compression, requiring the assistance of a physician to treat. Central canal stenosis treatment often requires surgery to increase the space in the spinal canal. However, in most cases, a physician will attempt to first treat the stenosis conservatively by managing the patient’s pain and reducing inflammation in the canal. If this treatment proves ineffective, the physician may then recommend spine surgery.
A minimally invasive approach
If you are considering undergoing spinal surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the numerous benefits of our minimally invasive, outpatient spine surgery. Call today to request more information concerning central canal stenosis treatment and to request a review of your CT scan or MRI.