Treatment for spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is often known as spinal canal stenosis or central spinal canal stenosis. The word stenosis is derived from the Greek word stenos, meaning narrow. Canal refers to the central vertebral canal which houses the spinal cord. Spinal canal stenosis literally means the narrowing of the central vertebral canal that houses the spinal cord.

There are two general categories of spinal stenosis treatment, conservative (non-invasive) or surgical. Conservative treatments suppress symptoms, while surgical options help to address the cause of the condition. Unless an emergency situation is present, treatment begins with the non-invasive options and proceeds to more invasive procedures (surgery) if needed.

Spinal stenosis explained

Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition in which the spinal canal becomes narrower, at times applying pressure on spinal nerve roots or the spinal cord. The condition is related to the aging process, and like the effects of aging in other areas of the body, spinal stenosis usually begins gradually and progresses over time.

Foraminal stenosis typically refers to narrowing of the passages (“foramina”) on each side of the vertebral column through which spinal nerves pass, en route to the body structure they innervate.

If this narrowing progresses to the point at which the neural tissue is compressed, symptoms can arise, including:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Paresthesia (a tingling feeling)
  • Weakness

Both spinal stenosis and foraminal stenosis can be caused by any number of changes in the spine that takes up space in the openings. These changes might include bulging discs, herniated discs, bone spurs and enlarged facet joints (connections between the bones of the spine).

Traditional treatment options

In most instances, spinal stenosis and foraminal stenosis are treated conservatively. Medication, physical therapy exercises and rest can often help to relieve symptoms. If you do not find relief from conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment. Surgical options for spinal stenosis include:

  • Removal of spinal bone
  • Disc removal
  • Artificial disc replacement surgery
  • Spinal fusion

Minimally invasive procedures at Laser Spine Institute

At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in a variety of minimally invasive procedures for spinal stenosis. These procedures are safer and effective alternatives to open neck and back surgery, offering relief for spinal stenosis symptoms.

Minimally invasive decompression procedures for spinal stenosis include:

  • Laminotomy — relieves pressure on the spinal cord compressed by spinal stenosis

  • Decompression with an Interlaminar Stabilization™ device — relieves pain associated with spinal stenosis

Our procedures are outpatient procedures that carry a reduced risk of infection along with a number of other benefits.

Call a member of our Care Team today to learn more about your treatment options for spinal stenosis and foraminal stenosis. We want to help you make an informed decision about surgery, so that you can find pain relief and return to your daily activities.