Spinal stenosis — narrowing of your spinal canal — happens for several reasons, most related to aging. If you develop symptoms that could be caused by spinal stenosis, call a Coastal Spine office in Mount Laurel, Sewell, Galloway, Toms River, Vineland, or West Orange, New Jersey. The practice’s exceptional spine doctors diagnose and treat all causes of stenosis, from herniated discs to spinal arthritis. Call Coastal Spine today or request an appointment online for high-quality spinal stenosis treatment.
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, usually brought on by aging. This narrowing causes nerve compression (radiculopathy) in the spinal canal and, in some cases, spinal cord compression (myelopathy).
Aging and years of wear-and-tear cause the spongy discs cushioning your vertebrae (spinal bones) to dry, flatten, and harden (degenerative disc disease). This affects your spinal alignment and increases your risk of a bulging or herniated disc. The aging discs can develop weak spots and tears that allow the soft core to protrude (herniate) into the spinal canal.
Another spinal stenosis cause is spondylosis (spine arthritis). The facet joints connecting your vertebrae can develop osteoarthritis, where the protective surfaces wear away. Your body attempts to reinforce an arthritic spine by producing bony outgrowths (osteophytes or bone spurs). But these narrow your spinal canal all the more.
Spondylolisthesis (where a vertebra slips over the one below it), spinal tumors, Paget’s disease (which causes bone overgrowth), and spinal trauma can also cause spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is most commonly diagnosed in the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine). Cervical stenosis causes symptoms that spread into the arms, while lumbar stenosis affects the legs. These symptoms include:
Lower back and leg symptoms tend to get worse when you walk and improve when you sit. Leaning forward helps because it reduces pressure on your spinal nerves.
Coastal Spine successfully uses conservative and minimally invasive treatments to ease spinal stenosis. These can include:
You’ll probably need surgery if no other treatment relieves your spinal stenosis symptoms. Decompression procedures to treat spinal stenosis include laminectomy and laminotomy. These surgeries remove part or all of the lamina (a part of your vertebrae), relieving pressure on the nerves and reducing pain.
Another surgery that can help with spinal stenosis caused by a herniated disc is discectomy (disc removal). During these operations, your surgeon also removes bone spurs. After decompression surgery, fusion joins the vertebrae above and below the treated area to strengthen the spine.
Call Coastal Spine today or book an appointment online to find effective relief from spinal stenosis symptoms.