Spinal Stenosis – Causes and Treatment

What is Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal begins to narrow and compresses the nerves in the spinal cord. While this condition can be due to natural aging, spinal stenosis can also be caused by a degenerative spine condition.

In order to accurately diagnose the spinal stenosis cause, it is necessary for you to consult your physician to reach a diagnosis. You will then collaborate with your physician to create a specific treatment plan.

If you have been diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition or you have cause to believe that you have a degenerative spine condition, please review the following information about how degenerative spine conditions contribute to spinal stenosis.

Degenerative Spine Conditions

Degenerative spine conditions occur with the gradual loss of normal spine function over time. Spinal stenosis causes include age, infection, injury, or other occurrences that threaten the integrity of the spine.

There are several spine conditions that cause gradual degeneration of the spine, resulting in the narrowing of the spinal canal. Some of the most common degenerative spine conditions are as follows:

  • Degenerative disc disease is the gradual deterioration of a disc or discs due to general aging or injury. When an intervertebral disc wears down, disc material can enter the small spaces in the spinal canal where nerve roots are located. The nerve roots impacted by the disc material will cause local and radiating pain.
  • Bulging discs are intervertebral discs that have become misshapen. These discs can protrude into the spinal canal, causing it to narrow. The nerve roots can become compressed and pain may occur.
  • Bone spurs, often the result of osteoarthritis, are small growths on the vertebrae or joints of the spine. They may develop as joints in the spinal column deteriorate. Bone spurs can grow into the spinal canal, narrowing the open space in the spinal canal and pressing on the nerve roots.
  • Herniated discs are intervertebral discs that have broken open or ruptured due to wear and tear or injury. Disc material and fluid from herniated discs can cause the spinal canal to narrow and impact local nerve roots.

The most common location of degenerative spine conditions and spinal stenosis is in the lumbar (lower back) portion of the spine. This is because the lumbar spine is responsible for supporting most of the body’s weight. As the natural aging process occurs, more weight will compress the vertebrae and discs in the lumbar, causing a degenerative spine condition to develop.

Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Patients who have spinal stenosis caused by a degenerative spine condition may experience pain relief with our minimally invasive stabilization surgery. At BEST Health System, we offer an effective alternative to traditional open-back fusion. We perform our procedures in an outpatient surgery center. This eliminates additional hospital stay and will allow you to return home the same day of your surgery.

During our minimally invasive stabilization surgery, the surgeon will cut a small, 1-inch incision at the location of your spine condition. The surrounding muscles and soft tissue will not be cut or disturbed in order to access the spine. Our advanced, minimally invasive techniques allow our surgeons to move aside the surrounding muscle without cutting through them to reach the spine. Our surgeons will then decompress the affected nerve by removing either the bone spur or the expanded disc. This will depend on the spine condition that is causing the spinal stenosis. Once the diseased portion of the spine is removed, an implant will be inserted to immediately stabilize the spine. This will help prevent future narrowing of the spinal canal.

For more information about our procedures, contact BEST Health System. Our multidisciplinary team will help you develop the right care plan to achieve lasting relief.

BEST Health System

BEST Health System specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery that is a more effective alternative to traditional open back procedures. It offers many benefits such as less risk of infection and no lengthy recovery. For more information on how BEST can help you find relief from chronic neck and back pain, contact us today