Spinal Stenosis Relief in and around Atlanta
Generally developing slowly in the later years of a person's life (usually past fifty), Spinal Stenosis occurs when the spinal cord in the neck (cervical spine) or the spinal nerve roots in the lower back (lumbar spine) are compressed. Symptoms of lumbar stenosis often include leg pain (sciatica) with walking, as well as tingling, weakness or numbness in the legs. Arm pain is the typical symptom ofcervical spinal stenosis.
For cervical spinal stenosis with myelopathy, difficulty with coordination often occurs because the spinal cord is being damaged and
often dependent on the type of spinal stenosis and the severity of the patient's symptoms,
spinal stenosis relief may include non-surgical options like exercise, anti-inflammatory medication, epidural injections and activity modification. These no-surgical options usually only provide temporary relief. Unfortunately, this is a mechanical problem that often requires a mechanical solution(surgery) in order to effectively and permanently relieve the pain.
Spinal Anatomy and the Major Types of Spinal Stenosis
- Foraminal stenosis. As the nerve root is about to leave the canal through a side hole (lateral foramen), a bone spur (osteophyte) that has already developed from a degenerating disc can press on that nerve root. This type of stenosis is also called lateral spinal stenosis, which is by far the most common form of spinal stenosis. 72% of cases of foraminal stenosis occur at the lowest lumbar level. With this type of lumbar stenosis, the emerging nerve root is trapped (thus comprising a major part of the sciatic nerve)
- Central stenosis. A choking of the central canal (called central stenosis) in the lumbar (low back) area can compress the sack containing the horse’s tail (cauda equina or cauda equine) bundle of loose nerve filaments. Central spinal stenosis is more common at the second from the lowest lumbar spinal level and higher, and is largely caused by a bulging of the disc margin plus a major overgrowth or redundancy of a ligament (ligamentum flavum) that is there to help protect the dura. This overgrowth is caused by segmental instability, usually from a degenerating disc between adjacent vertebrae. The ligament arises from under the flat laminas of the vertebrae and the inside part of the facet joints (stabilizing joints located on each side at the back of the spine segments)
- Far lateral stenosis. After the nerve has left the spinal canal it can also be compressed beyond the foramen by either a bony spur protrusion, bulging disc or herniated disc. When this happens, it is called lateral stenosis
These differences in spine anatomymay result in similar symptoms, which is why all forms of stenosis are typically referred to as simply spinal stenosis.
In lumbar stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, or choked, and this can produce symptoms ofsciatica-- tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the buttocks and legs -- especially with activity.
Spinal stenosis pain in the neck (cervical spinal stenosis) can be far more dangerous by compressing the spinal cord. Spinal cord stenosis may lead to serious symptoms, including major body weakness or even paralysis. Such severe spinal stenosis symptoms are virtually impossible in the lumbar spine, however, as the spinal cord is not present in the lumbar spine.
Spinal Stenosis Relief Options
Most cases of stenosis in the lumbar spine have pain that radiates into the leg(s) with walking, and that pain will be relieved with sitting. When non-surgical options have failed, surgery can be considered.
Just say No To Laminectomy. Unfortunately, the most common surgery for lumbar stenosis is a laminectomy.
This procedure where bone is cut out of the spine is a very
bad option for very good reasons.
Instead of a laminectomy, Dr. Bendiks’
Stenoplasty for Spinal Stenosis procedure may be the answer for you. Answer these two questions to see if you have treatable lumbar stenosis.
- Laminectomies are very pain painful
- Laminectomies often lead to painful instability
- Laminectomies can cause nerve damage or damage the lining of the spinal cord called the dura( dural tear)
- Laminectomies usually only provide temporary relief (3-5 years) that ultimately requires a larger fusion procedure with a 6-9 month recovery process
Do I Have Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?
Is your back and/or leg pain worse with standing and walking?
Is your back and/or leg pain better with sitting or leaning on a shopping cart?
If you answer yes to both of these conditions than you have more than a 95% chance of having lumbar spinal stenosis that can be treated with a Stenoplasty. Call Dr. Bendiks and see how he can permanently rid you of your stenosis pain today.
Click here to learn more about his Stenoplasty procedure.