Spinal canal stenosis
Spinal canal stenosis most often occurs when the vertebrae, ligaments and discs begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to narrowing and potential nerve compression in the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord. The compression associated with spinal stenosis can irritate or compress adjacent nerve roots or the spinal cord itself, causing severe discomfort and a potentially diminished quality of life.
If you experience neck or back pain, it should be diagnosed by a physician. It’s particularly important not to ignore pain that is chronic or lingers over an extended period of time. If spinal canal stenosis is present in the cervical (neck) region, you might feel pain that radiates through the shoulders and arms, numbness or tingling in the extremities or weakness in the legs, among other symptoms. In the lower back, or lumbar region, nerve compression related to canal stenosis could affect the lower back, the legs, the feet and the toes.
Spinal canal stenosis, which is sometimes called central stenosis, usually occurs after the age of 50. There are several potential causes of spinal narrowing, including:
- A loss in the height of discs between vertebrae (collapsed discs)
- Bulging discs
- Herniated discs
- Osteoarthritis in the spine (facet disease)
- Spinal fracture or other injury
- Spondylolisthesis (a vertebra that has slipped out of place)
Most of the time, spinal stenosis can be managed through a conservative treatment regimen that may include exercise and over-the-counter pain medicine. Sometimes, though, neck or back pain is so persistent that your physician might suggest surgery as an option. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive procedures that are a safer and effective alternative to open neck and back surgery^. Our outpatient procedures provide many benefits to patients, such as smaller incisions and shorter recovery periods, compared to those of traditional open spine surgeries.
Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about your options to treat spinal canal stenosis symptoms and to receive a no-cost review* of your MRI report. You may be a candidate for our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.