Stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which can compress the spinal cord and nerves. It can produce symptoms that range from radiating pain, numbness, and weakness to gait problems, depending on the location of the narrowing. Cervical stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck region, while lumbar stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back region.
Spinal stenosis does not always cause symptoms. However, if you are like many of those whose daily life has been affected by spinal stenosis, your doctor may recommend one of the treatment options below.
Physical therapy exercises can help build muscle strength, maintain flexibility and stability of the spine, and improve balance, all areas in which spinal stenosis can have a negative effect. Stronger back and core muscles can do wonders for the spine and make it more resilient. It can also help relieve pain. Physical therapists teach patients with spinal stenosis how to move correctly to reduce pressure on spinal nerves.
Steroid injections help reduce pain and inflammation and provide relief from symptoms for up to three months at a time. The medication can be injected near the epidural space in the spine for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis or in the foramen “tunnel” for those with cervical spinal stenosis. Corticosteroid injections prove to be very beneficial to patients with sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy, which causes pain deep in the buttock that travels down to the leg.
Physical therapy and steroid injections can help with controlling pain, however, they do not address the structural changes that occur with spinal stenosis. Some patients may benefit from spine surgery, especially if symptoms persist despite less invasive treatments.
Surgical procedures to treat spinal stenosis include discectomy, fusion, and decompression, or laminectomy. A discectomy involves the removal of a portion of a herniated disc, which eases pressure on nearby nerves and relieves symptoms. Fusion surgery involves limiting vertebral movement by fusing two or more vertebrae in the spine. During the procedure, the surgeon places bone material in between two vertebrae and holds the bones together using metal plates, screws, and rods. This improves the stability of the spine and reduces pain. In a laminectomy, the surgeon creates more space in the spinal canal by removing part of the vertebra. This creates more space for the spinal cord and spinal nerves to move freely, which eases symptoms of spinal stenosis.
Discectomy, fusion, and decompression can benefit patients with cervical spinal stenosis and lumbar spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Royal Oak
If you are not happy with your current treatment, you could have better outcomes with our treatments here at Ahlgren Spine. Our orthopaedic spine surgeon, Dr. Bradley Ahlgren is recognized for his expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Ahlgren uses special instruments and visualization tools to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible and allow for a faster and easier recovery.
Let us get you back to enjoying life and a variety of activities. Call us at (248) 215-8080 today to schedule a consultation. You can also send us an appointment request using our online form. We look forward to helping you achieve better spine health.