How We Treat Spinal Stenosis
- Posted on: Dec 15 2017
If you have increasing weakness in your arms that is impacting the use of your hands, you may have it. If you have weakness, numbness, or pain in your legs when walking, you may have it.
Spinal stenosis. The question is, what can we do about it? At DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, we have various treatment options for dealing with spinal stenosis before those symptoms lead to permanent nerve damage.
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. This is the opening in the spine where the nerve roots pass. Stenosis can develop in any part of the spine but is more common in the cervical (seven vertebrae of the neck) and lumbar (five lower vertebrae leading into hips) sections of the spine.
In the cervical spine, stenosis can be due to arthritic changes in the vertebrae. It can be caused by bone spurs that are pushing on adjacent nerves and the spinal cord. It can also be due to nerve compression from large disc herniations.
In the lumbar spine, stenosis is often due to degenerative changes that are limiting nerve space and blood supply, leading to nerve compression.
How we treat spinal stenosis
In most cases, we first opt to try non-surgical treatments. For stenosis, medications, physical therapy, and spinal cortisone injections can all be effective non-surgical remedies. However, if these methods don’t improve your symptoms, surgery will be necessary to relieve nerve compression before nerve damage occurs.
These are the surgical options:
- Cervical laminectomy
Spinous process and lamina are removed to decrease pressure on the spinal cord.
- Lumbar decompression
In this surgery, we remove all or part of the lamina, removing bone spurs and enlarging the spinal canal to relieve pressure or compression on the nerve roots or spinal cord.
- Decompression & posterolateral fusion
In addition to decompression, we fuse two discs together in the area of the problem. We do this by removing the disc material, inserting bone graft material, and inserting a series of screws and rod to make two vertebrae fuse together.
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion
This surgical approach is done from the front of the abdomen. We remove the disc material, insert a bone spacer, and bone graft material. Then we fuse the two discs.
- Posterior transforaminal interbody fusion
Same as above, but the surgery is performed through the back.
If you have the signs of spinal stenosis, please call us at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, 817-916-4685.
Posted in: Spinal Disorders