Bilateral stenosis is a condition in which the openings on both sides of a vertebra become narrowed, oftentimes putting pressure on the spinal nerves which pass through these holes, in turn causing pain, tingling, weakness, and even numbness on both sides of the body. This condition is also known as bilateral foraminal stenosis due to the fact that the openings in the vertebrae are called foramen. There are two foramen on each vertebra. With bilateral stenosis, both of these openings narrow, as opposed to neural stenosis, in which only one narrows and symptoms are confined to one side of the body.
This condition can result from:
- Disc degeneration
- Slipped discs
- Bulging discs
- Herniated / ruptured discs
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The most common cause of this condition is disc degeneration, although it can also result from a combination of issues. If your bilateral stenosis is caused by a slipped, bulging, or herniated disc, that means the discs in between your vertebrae are infringing upon the foramen, narrowing the space through which the spinal nerves can pass, and possibly even putting pressure on the nerves.
The area of your body in which you experience symptoms depends on the position of the affected vertebrae. Usually, vertebrae in the upper part of the back and neck will cause symptoms in the head or upper torso, whereas those in the lower back can impact the legs and feet, and can even cause difficulty walking and controlling bladder/bowel function.
Conservative treatments for bilateral stenosis include physical therapy and exercises, rest, pain medication, steroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medicines. When the condition is acute, however, your physician may recommend surgery.
If your physician has said your bilateral stenosis is severe enough to warrant surgery, but you want a second opinion, contact us today for a complimentary MRI or CT scan review. We are the leader in endoscopic spine surgery used to treat neck and back issues such as spinal stenosis, neural stenosis, and more.