Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas in your spine—most often in your upper or lower back. This narrowing can put pressure on your spinal cord or on the nerves that branch out from the compressed areas.
Spinal stenosis can cause cramping, pain, or numbness in your legs, back, neck, shoulders, or arms; or a loss of sensation in your extremities, and sometimes problems with bladder or bowel function. Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by osteoarthritis-related bone damage.
Mild symptoms of spinal stenosis are often helped with pain relievers, physical therapy, or a supportive brace. In more serious cases of spinal stenosis, we may recommend surgery.
Spinal narrowing doesn’t always cause problems, but if the narrowed areas compress the spinal cord or spinal nerves, you’re likely to develop signs and symptoms. These often start gradually and grow worse over time. The most common spinal stenosis symptoms include:
- Pain or cramping in your legs, arms, hands, or feet.
- Numbness, weakness, or tingling in your legs, arms, or feet. For some people, the radiating pain is a minor annoyance, but for others it can be debilitating. This is usually increased with walking.
- Pain in your neck and shoulders. This is likely to occur when the nerves in your neck (cervical spine) are compressed.
- Loss of balance. Pressure on the cervical spinal cord can affect the nerves that control your balance, resulting in clumsiness or a tendency to fall.
- Loss of bowel or bladder function (cauda equina syndrome). In severe cases, nerves to your bladder or bowel may be affected, leading to partial or complete urinary or fecal incontinence. If you experience either of these problems, seek medical care right away.
Spinal Stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal canal, often occurs in the over-60 age bracket. Our minimally invasive techniques are highly successful in diminishing the pain caused by this common disorder. We can enter through a 7 or 15 mm incision and enlarge the spinal canal by shaving off the matter causing the narrowing and the resulting pain. And because we do not use expandable retractors, like many others who claim to do minimally invasive surgery, we avoid cutting muscle altogether, so you can get back to life as quickly as possible.Why Minimally Invasive?