Spinal stenosis can be a debilitating and painful condition that seems untreatable. But at Re3 Innovative Neuroscience Institute in Sarasota, Florida, expert neurosurgeons apply decades of experience, superior technical skills, and state-of-the-art technologies to have you moving and feeling your best. With advanced knowledge of the full scope of nonsurgical, minimally invasive, and surgical procedures, the Re3 team personalizes your care to deliver the best results. Call the office to see how they can help find relief from spinal stenosis or other spinal issues.
Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, leads to pressure on the nerves that run through the spine. The condition is classified by where it’s located on your spine. Cervical stenosis refers to a narrowing in your spine toward your neck, while lumbar stenosis, which is more common, occurs in the part of your spine toward your lower back.
Some people may experience no symptoms. Others may have numbness, tingling, or pain, as well as muscle weakness. Usually, any symptoms worsen over time. The symptoms vary based on the stenosis location and which nerves are under pressure.
In cervical stenosis, common symptoms include:
In the most severe cases, there can be problems with the bowel or bladder, called urinary urgency and incontinence.
In lumbar stenosis, common symptoms include:
It’s also common to have cramping or pain in one or both legs after walking or standing for extended periods of time. Sitting down or bending forward often relieves these symptoms.
While some are born with a smaller spinal canal, the narrowing associated with spinal stenosis is usually due to one of a few causes.
Osteoarthritis, common with aging, causes wear and tear on your spinal bones, which can lead to bone spurs (an overgrowth of bone) inside the spinal canal. Paget’s disease, which affects adults, can also lead to bone overgrowth inside the canal, leading to stenosis.
A herniated disc refers to any damage to the soft shock-absorbing cushions that lie between your vertebrae. With age, these cushions tend to dry out, making them susceptible to cracking. Once the disc is cracked, the inner material can escape, causing pressure on the nerves within the spinal canal.
Ligaments, the strong cords that help keep your spine bones together, tend to thicken and stiffen over time. Once thickened, they can bulge and occupy space within the canal, causing pressure on the nerves.
Any kind of spinal injury, like those from car accidents, can cause vertebral fracture or dislocation. As a result, the spinal canal may be damaged or bone may be displaced, putting pressure on the nerves.
Spinal tumors are abnormal growths within the spinal cord, either on the membranes covering the spinal cord or within the space between the spinal cord and vertebra. Identified by imaging via an MRI or CT, these uncommon growths can also generate pressure on the nerves.
Following your diagnosis, your Re3 Innovative Neuroscience Institute provider has a number of treatment options. Their choice depends on your health and the severity of your stenosis. These options may include:
In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. The Re3 surgical team are experts at minimally invasive microsurgical treatments for stenosis, including:
In a laminectomy, sometimes called a decompression surgery, an Re3 surgeon removes the back portion (called the lamina) of the vertebra responsible for narrowing of the canal. This creates more space within the canal, thereby reducing pressure on the nerves. In some cases, your Re3 surgeon may reinforce the spine’s strength with metal hardware and a bone graft to link neighboring vertebra.
A laminotomy is similar to a laminectomy, except only part of the lamina is removed. The Re3 surgeon usually creates a hole within the affected vertebra that is just large enough to reduce the local pressure.
The foramina are the small holes that nerves pass through from one vertebra to the next. If there’s a blockage or pressure on a nerve, Re3 surgeons surgically enlarge the hole to give the nerves sufficient passage.
If you suffer from spinal stenosis or have experienced any of its symptoms, consult the Re3 Innovative Neuroscience Institute today.