Herniated discs, osteoarthritis, and other age-related changes in your spine can cause stenosis (narrowing) and nerve compression. If you have spinal stenosis, visit Stepan Kasimian, MD, and his colleagues at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics. The practice has convenient offices in Glendale, Santa Ana, and Upland, California, offering advanced spinal care and surgery. Call HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online to benefit from outstanding spinal stenosis treatment.
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal and is a common cause of neck and back pain.
The spinal canal is a channel formed by your spine’s vertebrae (bones) that the spinal cord runs through. Your spinal cord is a collection of many nerves that links the rest of your body to your brain. Nerves that come off the spinal cord (peripheral nerves) spread throughout your body, enabling you to feel and control all your body’s functions.
The peripheral nerves must pass through the spinal canal and exit through gaps in the vertebrae. If you have spinal stenosis, these nerves can come under pressure in the narrowed area of the spinal canal.
Various aspects of the aging process are responsible for spinal stenosis. As your spine endures years of wear-and-tear, the spinal discs between your vertebrae harden and flatten (degenerative disc disease).
This makes them more likely to herniate, where the disc’s soft center pushes through its outer casing into the spinal canal. Herniated discs are a common cause of spinal canal narrowing. Degenerative disc disease also changes your spine’s alignment, reducing spinal canal space.
Another common problem in older age is osteoarthritis, caused by years of wear on the vertebrae. Arthritis can trigger osteophyte growth — small bone spurs that your body creates to support a weakened spine.
More unusual causes of spinal stenosis include Paget’s disease (bone overgrowth), spinal trauma, and spinal tumors.
HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics treats spinal stenosis by reducing spinal nerve compression. Conservative treatments that can help include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Patients who don’t improve can benefit from epidural steroid injections and facet joint injections containing powerful anti-inflammatory drugs and an anesthetic.
Most patients with spinal stenosis find their symptoms significantly improve after conservative treatments like these. However, some might need to undergo surgery if they continue to experience considerable pain.
The HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics surgeons specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) for spinal stenosis. Spinal decompression removes sections of the vertebrae and other tissues responsible for a narrowed spine. Your surgeon can also do a microdiscectomy (removing part of a herniated disc) or discectomy (removing an entire herniated disc).
Afterward, you might need spinal fusion or an artificial disc replacement to stabilize your spine.
Call HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online to learn more about spinal stenosis treatments.