Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Dallas
Spinal stenosis is a common spine condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal that houses nerve roots and the spinal cord. This narrowing of the spinal canal is a gradual process that eventually compresses the spinal nerves. This pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord can cause a range of different symptoms that worsen over time.
Spinal stenosis often develops in the cervical and lower back area, though it can occur anywhere in the spine. The condition is more prevalent in people over 50 who experience degenerative changes as part of the natural aging process.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
A healthy spinal canal provides sufficient space for the spinal cord and nerve roots. However, age-related changes, disease, trauma, and genetic conditions can cause this space to narrow, leading to spinal stenosis.
Besides age-related degenerative changes, other causes of spinal stenosis include herniated discs, osteoarthritis, and spondylolisthesis, a condition where a vertebra slips onto the one below it.
Spinal Stenosis Types
- Cervical Stenosis – Trauma or degenerative changes can cause a narrowing of the neck’s spinal canal, a condition known as cervical stenosis. Neck and arm pain are common symptoms of this spinal condition. In more severe cases, symptoms can also include weakness or numbness in the arms and hands, balance issues, and difficulty with fine motor skills. Treatment modalities involve physical therapy and medications and, in other cases, minimally invasive surgery.
- Lumbar Stenosis – The narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back is known as lumbar stenosis and often stems from normal age-related ailments like osteoarthritis. It is a common cause of both sciatica and low back pain. If conservative measures don’t relieve symptoms, patients may need spinal decompression surgery using a minimally invasive approach.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
The symptoms of spinal stenosis depend on where the spinal canal has narrowed.
- Tingling and numbness that radiates into the arms and hands
- Pain or weakness in the arms, hands, or fingers
- Balance and coordination issues
- Unusual clumsiness
- Burning or aching in the lower back, buttocks, and legs that often worsens with walking or standing
- Numbness and pins and needles sensation in the legs and feet
- Cramping in the legs and feet
- Radiating pain down the leg that lessens while sitting, walking uphill, or bending forward
How is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed?
A physical examination will look for signs of:
- Muscle atrophy or weakness
- Poor reflexes
- Numbness in the lower extremities.
Manipulations will show which positions or movements cause the pain to worsen. Frontline diagnostic tests for stenosis usually include a MRI, or CT/myelogram.
Spinal Stenosis Surgery & Non-Surgical Treatments
Spinal stenosis is initially treated with a combination of:
- Analgesic pain relievers
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Activity modification
- Regimen of physical therapy
- Steroid injections or oral cortisone therapy – In some cases, patients will benefit.
- Use of a back brace
If symptoms do not improve with these conservative treatments or the weakness begins to worsen, then surgical intervention is the next step.
Spinal Stenosis Surgeries
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Surgery
In the lumbar region, the least invasive procedure is a minimally invasive laminectomy. In this procedure, a portion of the lamina is removed to gain access to the spinal canal in order to remove material causing nerve compression.
Cervical Spinal Stenosis Surgery
In the cervical spine, the choice of spine surgery depends on the source of the spinal stenosis. Surgery is performed either thru:
Consult a Spinal Stenosis Specialist
Conservative therapies can be quite effective for relieving the symptoms of spinal stenosis. However, decompression procedures are the most definitive way to treat this common condition. To learn more about spinal stenosis treatment in Dallas and Fort Worth, schedule an appointment with Dallas neurosurgeon Dr. David Barnett.
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From start to finish, Dr. Barnett and his staff were always informative and professional. Dr. Barnett performed my neck surgery and lower back surgery all during a pandemic and everything worked out perfect. Highly recommend Dr. Barnett. Top notch.
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