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Spinal Stenosis Treatment

 

Spinal stenosis can cause severe pain and disability. Our spinal experts at Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida can help. If left untreated, spinal stenosis can progress and cause permanent problems making it critical to seek treatment as soon as possible. 

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition where there is loss of the normal space for the spinal cord and spinal nerves in the neck or back. The spinal cord and spinal nerves run along the spine in a channel called the spinal canal. Spinal nerves exit the spinal canal through openings called neural foramen. Spinal stenosis results in narrowing of the spinal canal and neural foramen which leads to the spinal cord and nerves becoming compressed or pinched. Spinal stenosis is typically caused by wear and tear or degenerative disease. Disc herniations, disc bulges, loss of disc height, bone spurs, osteophyte formation and ligament overgrowth are all parts of this degenerative disease that can cause spinal stenosis. 

The three regions of the spine where spinal stenosis can occur are the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Cervical stenosis refers to stenosis that occurs in the neck. Lumbar stenosis occurs in the lower back. Thoracic stenosis is less common and occurs in the upper back. 

Spinal stenosis is more common in men and women over the age of 50 but can also be found in younger patients who were born with a narrow spinal canal or have other spinal conditions.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition where there is loss of the normal space for the spinal cord and spinal nerves in the neck or back. The spinal cord and spinal nerves run along the spine in a channel called the spinal canal. Spinal nerves exit the spinal canal through openings called neural foramen. Spinal stenosis results in narrowing of the spinal canal and neural foramen which leads to the spinal cord and nerves becoming compressed or pinched. Spinal stenosis is typically caused by wear and tear or degenerative disease. Disc herniations, disc bulges, loss of disc height, bone spurs, osteophyte formation and ligament overgrowth are all parts of this degenerative disease that can cause spinal stenosis. 

The three regions of the spine where spinal stenosis can occur are the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Cervical stenosis refers to stenosis that occurs in the neck. Lumbar stenosis occurs in the lower back. Thoracic stenosis is less common and occurs in the upper back. 

Spinal stenosis is more common in men and women over the age of 50 but can also be found in younger patients who were born with a narrow spinal canal or have other spinal conditions.

Individual Treatment Plans

We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach; each patient gets a unique treatment plan designed for their needs. 

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What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

The spinal cord and spinal nerves control many functions throughout the body. These functions include muscle movement, walking balance, feeling of touch and pain sensation. They also control bladder and bowel function. Stenosis can result in neck or back pain, arm or leg pain, numbness/tingling, weakness, loss of balance, loss of hand dexterity and in severe cases loss of bladder/bowel function. Patients with cervical stenosis often experience dysfunction with fine motor tasks of the hands. Those with lumbar stenosis often describe low back and buttocks/thigh pain that is worse with walking and is relieved with leaning forward (for example leaning on a shopping cart). Cervical stenosis can result in radiating arm pain. Similarly, lumbar stenosis can result in radiating leg pain also known as radiculopathy or sciatica.

The range of symptoms can include: 

  • Numbness in your arms, legs, hands, and feet
  • Tingling in your arms, legs, hands, and feet
  • Weakness in your arms, legs, hands, and feet
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Leg pain or cramping when walking or standing for long periods of time
  • Shoulder and arm pain
  • Loss of hand dexterity 
  • Difficulties with walking and loss of balance

Symptoms of spinal stenosis vary from person to person and will depend on the location and severity. In more severe cases, it can even lead to issues with your bladder and bowel such as incontinence. Getting treatment for your spinal stenosis can greatly improve your quality of life and reduce any associated pain.

How Do You Treat Spinal Stenosis?

Your individual treatment plan will depend on the severity of your spinal stenosis and your symptoms. At the Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida, treatment begins with a comprehensive consultation and a series of diagnostics.

During your consultation, we will ask you to describe your symptoms, including when they started, their severity, and what the progression has been like. Then we will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. In most cases, we will order some type of imaging to help us pinpoint the exact location of your spinal stenosis.

In House Imaging

There are several types of imaging we use to get a better understanding of your spinal stenosis. X-ray images are performed quickly and easily and can identify problems in the bones of the spine. X-ray imaging is excellent for diagnosing degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis and osteophytes or bone spurs. 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnet to provide us with cross-sectional images. This imaging technique is safe and effective and utilized zero radiation to your body. MRI is better at visualizing the soft tissues structures such as the spinal cord, nerves, ligaments, and muscles. It can identify damage to your spine and more importantly, exactly where your nerves are being compressed.

Our spine experts understand that comprehensive, efficient and effective spine care is important to you. Spinal imaging is an important tool to correctly diagnose your condition and get you the treatment you need. We pride ourselves in offering both X-ray and MRI in house at our Spine Center of Excellence.

When you come in for your appointment at Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida, we take care of everything under one roof, so you don’t have to worry about bouncing around multiple offices. 

Not only does our team work under the same roof — we work together. Fellowship trained specialists in the various orthopedic subspecialties collaborate to diagnose the root cause of your symptoms. 

Advanced Non-Invasive Spine Surgery

If other treatment options haven’t improved your spinal stenosis, we offer advanced non-invasive spine surgery that can greatly reduce your symptoms. 

Historically, surgical options have offered effective solutions to spinal issues but with a high risk for complications and an extended recovery time. We have invested in the latest advancements in surgical technology to help our patients spend less time in both surgery and recovery.

Minimally invasive surgery options achieve the same outcome through smaller incisions and less soft tissue dissection. This type of spinal surgery can help treat your spinal stenosis while avoiding potential risks and complications and shortening your recovery time.

Visit the Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida for Spinal Stenosis 

If you think you may be struggling with spinal stenosis, come visit the Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida. We are dedicated to giving you the comprehensive musculoskeletal care you need to help you get back to feeling like your best self. Contact us by calling (239) 334-7000 or online by filling out this short contact form. 

Schedule Your Visit with Us Today! 
2531 Cleveland Avenue Suite 1 Fort Myers, FL 33901
Why OSSWF?
  • Clear Doctor Patient Communication
  • Friendly & Compassionate Staff
  • Individual Patient Care Plans
  • Cutting-Edge Treatment
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