Spinal Stenosis

What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal Stenosis is simply any tightening around the spinal cord that leads to nerve compression and either pain, weakness, or numbness. It can also compress the nerve roots, but this is usually termed foraminal stenosis since the area where the nerves exit is called the foraminal. Spinal stenosis can compress the nerves as it exits the spinal column such as in foraminal stenosis or it can compress the nerve as it descends to the next level down.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis
Signs associated with spinal and foraminal stenosis include the enlargement of the joints compressing the nerves as they exit from the spinal canal. The reduced height associated with disk degeneration leads to shrinkage of the foraminal canal where the nerves exit and thus lead to compression as well. The biggest problem is due to the development of spurs on the bones of the vertebral column and theses make the space smaller similar to a copper pipe clogged with calcium deposits over time.

Treatment for spinal stenosis
The treatment for spinal stenosis can include surgical decompression or more conservatively, trial of chemical decompression with an epidural cortisone injection . A small needle is inserted under x-ray guidance also medication targeted at reducing the nerve pain may be prescribed