Spinal stenosis is a condition that narrows the openings in the spine, which eventually compresses your spinal cord or spinal nerves and causes complications. The narrowing can appear in various locations along the spine and in various portions of the bones that make up the spinal column. As a result, spinal stenosis can have very different effects on different people. Identifying the type and location of the spinal stenosis is essential in order to ensure that your symptoms are treated in the most effective manner.
Dr. Surya Prakash, a senior and the best spine surgeon in Hyderabad at Medicover Hospitals, Hitech City, specializes in diagnosing and treating nerve-related, complicated spinal problems, including spinal stenosis. Many of you have heard about cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis. But, here’s what you need to know about the other two forms of spinal stenosis that narrow your spinal column and affect your nerves.
Basic anatomy and functions of your spine
The backbone is a common term used to describe the spine. However, this “bone” is actually made up of 24 separate bones known as vertebrae, which are joined together by fragile facet joints, piled one over the other. They build your spinal column together. The spinal column serves two vital functions: it provides support & keeps your body upright, and safeguards the group of nerves from damage.
The primary pathway for information to travel from your brain to the rest of your body is through your spinal cord. All vertebrae have holes at their centers called vertebral foramen. The spinal cord and nerve roots are protected and held in place by these openings within the spinal column.
Individual nerve roots branch off from this spinal cord in various directions to reach different parts of your body. There are 31 pairs of nerve roots in your spine, exiting from neural or intervertebral foramina, small spaces on either side of thevertebrae.
Spinal stenosis involves narrowing the spinal canal, affecting nerve function and the spinal cord. There are two distinct presentations. Lumbar canal stenosis and Cervical canal stenosis. Depending on the area affected, this can causes different types of symptoms.Stenosis typically affects the neck (cervical spine) and the lower back (lumbar spine). You might have heard doctors saying you have cervical spinal stenosis or lumbar spinal stenosis. This is because the type of spinal stenosis is defined by the location it affects your spine. There is, however, another way to classify spinal stenosis . Here in this blog we are going to elucidate the symptoms and the treatment for the lumbar canal stenosis:
Know more – An Overview of Spinal Stenosis
- A feeling of numbness, tingling, and weakness in your upper and lower limbs (arm, foot, or leg)
- Claudication is one off the very prominent symptoms. A consistent pain and discomfort/numbness on walking short distances and forcing patients to sit or lean forwards for relief
- Having trouble balancing or while walking
- Malfunction of the bladder or bowel
In every patient who presents with symptoms of lumbar canal stenosis we need to get the radiographs of the lumbosacral spine AP and LATERAL views. Lateral views need to be taken in the standing position and in recumbent flexion position.
This ascertains if there is a hidden element of spondylolisthesis in the patient. If present patient qualifies for fusion surgery along with decompression. Additionally, Lumbar spinal stenosis can be divided into two basic types based on where the narrowing occurs.
This type of stenosis involves narrowing or tightening the bony openings in your spine called the intervertebral foramen, where nerves exit the spinal canal. When the space becomes narrow, the nerves passing through the foramen are compressed or pinched and cause pain or become dysfunctional.
This stenosis type is often called lateral stenosis, which can occur anywhere along the spine; however, it occurs more frequently in the lumbar spine.
Central canal stenosis
As you may expect, this form of spinal stenosis involves narrowing the central opening of the vertebra. As the opening becomes narrower, it compresses your spinal cord, resulting in pain and dysfunction .
Central lumbar canal stenosis can also affect the traversing roots and cause distal symptoms like pain and numbness.
Some individuals may simultaneously experience both types of spinal stenosis.
Understanding spinal stenosis can help.
In order to determine the best course of treatment for spinal stenosis, it is important to understand how it affects the spine. Dr. Surya Prakash and his team specialised in pain management treatment. They can diagnose the problem accurately and helps with the best treatment strategy.
The treatments they offer are designed to relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Depending on the type and location of the condition, the following recommendations could be made:
- Lifestyle modifications
- Physical therapy
- Spinal injections like epidural steroids or facet injections
- MILD (minimally invasive lumbar decompression) or (Microlumbar decompression) procedure
- Decompressive laminectomy
- Instrumented fusion if this is associated with degenerative spondylolistheis.
Spinal cord stimulation is another highly effective procedure, an exceptional treatment option for pain relief. It works by modulating the pain signals sent to your brain through mild electrical pulses.
Are you suffering from spinal stenosis? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Surya Prakash right away to know more about the problem and how to get it treated. He has more than 2 decades of experience as a spine specialist and is one of the best spine surgeons in Hyderabad.