Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which places pressure on the spinal cord. If the stenosis is located on the lower part of the spinal cord it is lumbar spinal stenosis. Stenosis in the upper part of the spinal cord is cervical spinal stenosis. While spinal stenosis can be found in any part of the spine, the lumbar and cervical areas are the most commonly affected. Sometimes such stenosis could be a birth defect. Most often spinal stenosis is seen in patients over 50 years of age. In these patients, stenosis is the gradual result of aging and “wear and tear” on the spine during everyday activities. As people age, the ligaments of the spine thicken and harden (called calcification).
Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis may feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs, calves or buttocks specially while walking. Cervical spinal stenosis cause similar symptoms in the shoulders, arms, and legs leading to hand clumsiness and gait and balance disturbances.
Advantages: Spinal stenosis can be treated non –surgically with medications, injections or rest/ restricted activity exercise etc., and surgically with spinal stenosis operation.
Where does spinal stenosis occur?
Spinal stenosis can occur in each section of the spine: cervical, thoracic and lumbar. It is most commonly found in the lumbar spine.
Who Gets Spinal Stenosis?
This disorder is most common in men and women over 50 years of age. However, it may occur in younger people who are born with a narrowing of the spinal canal or who suffer an injury to the spine.
How Is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed?
The doctor may use a variety of approaches to diagnose spinal stenosis and rule out other conditions: Medical history. Physical examination, X-ray, MRI magnetic resonance imaging, bone scan etc.
Spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of the back. It carries signals back and forth between the body and the brain. A spinal cord injury disrupts the signals. Spinal cord injuries usually begin with a blow that fractures or dislocates the vertebrae, the bone disks that make up the spine.
Spine surgery is traditionally done as "open surgery," meaning the area being operated on is opened with a long incision to allow the surgeon to view and access the anatomy. In recent years, however, technological advances have allowed more spine conditions to be treated with a minimally invasive surgical technique.
Neck pain may be caused by disc degeneration, narrowing of the spinal canal, arthritis, and, in rare cases, cancer or meningitis. There are times when surgery is the best option for treating the medical condition responsible for the neck pain.
Lumbar fusion (Arthrodesis) is a major surgery performed to permanently join together two or more bones in the spine so there is no movement between them. These bones are called vertebrae. A lumbar fusion surgery is designed to stop the motion at a painful vertebral segment, which in turn should decrease pain generated from the joint.
Lumbar decompression surgery is a type of spinal surgery performed to treat some conditions affecting the lower back (lumbar spine) that haven't responded to other treatments. The main aim of this type of surgery is to improve problems affecting the legs, such as persistent pain and numbness, caused by pressure on the nerves in the spine.
Endoscopic Spine Surgery is a type of state-of-the-art surgery that uses small tubular system or micro incisions, assisted with an endoscope or microscope. This type of surgery provides patients with quicker recovery and less pain than traditional spine surgery. It preserves normal spine mobility because the spine is not fused with screws and rods.
Almost everyone will experience back pain at some point in their lives. This pain can vary from mild to severe. It can be short-lived or long-lasting. However it happens, back pain can make many everyday activities difficult to do.