Due to the wear-and-tear effects of aging, our spines can change over the years. One of these changes that can occur is the narrowing of the spinal canal, which is a condition referred to as spinal stenosis. This results in pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves traveling down the spine.
Common symptoms associated with spinal stenosis include:
- Burning pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands, arms, back, buttocks, or legs
- Decreased pain when leaning or bending forward
- Dysfunction in the bowel or bladder may occur in extreme cases
- Increased pain when standing, walking, or sitting with straightened posture
- Problems with walking and balance
- Weakness in the arms, hands, or legs
Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the neck and lower back. A spine specialist will be able to determine a diagnosis and a treatment protocol that first considers conservative care options based on your specific needs. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves.
If spine surgery is determined to be the best treatment option for you, a specialty-trained spine surgeon will work with you to figure out which surgical option is right for you and your needs. This could end up being a laminectomy procedure to relieve the pressure on the nerves of the spine, a spinal fusion to stabilize the spine and relieve symptoms, or another corrective procedure.