Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Staten Island & Princeton
What is spinal stenosis?
The word stenosis means “narrowing.” Spinal stenosis is the term that refers to a narrowing of the open space within the spinal canal, through which the spinal cord and spinal nerves run. Foraminal stenosis is one specific type of spinal stenosis, characterized by a narrowing of the small openings in the sides of the vertebrae, where nerves leave the spinal canal. Both of these conditions cause pressure to build in the spine, which disrupts the nerves and can cause a pinched nerve and radiculopathy. In most cases, spinal stenosis occurs in the lumbar region of the spine (lower back) or cervical region of the spine (neck).
If you are experiencing any symptoms of spinal stenosis, contact our Princeton and Staten island offices of New Jersey Spine Surgeons for diagnosis and treatment. We can help relieve your pain and restore your mobility.
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is typically caused by spinal aging and changes that take place in the spine due to wear and tear over time. This often is associated with osteoarthritis in the spine. Stenosis can also result from a number of other possible causes, which may include:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal fracture / injury
- Thickened ligaments
- Overgrowth of bone (bone spurs)
- Tumors in the spinal canal
- Genetic predisposition / being born with a narrow spinal canal
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
While some patients may experience no symptoms with spinal stenosis, others may experience pain or the following other symptoms.
Spinal Stenosis in the Neck (Cervical Spinal Stenosis)
- Numbness, weakness or tingling in the hand, arm, leg or foot
- Walking and balance issues
- Bladder or bowel problems
Spinal Stenosis in the Lower Back (Lumbar Spinal Stenosis)
- Pain or cramping in the legs
- Pain when standing for long periods of time
- Pain when walking
How is spinal stenosis diagnosed?
If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be indicative of spinal stenosis or if you believe you may be suffering from this condition, it is important to seek proper evaluation from a spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, our doctors will evaluate your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis following a physical examination, medical history, and any necessary imaging. An X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT scan) with myelogram may be recommended to determine the severity of the condition and to detect any nerve-related issues.
Imaging tests are used by New Jersey Spine Surgeons in order to look at your spine in detail to detect bone spurs and other spinal conditions that may be causing a narrowing of space in your spinal canal.
What does spinal stenosis treatment involve?
Often times, our spine doctors at New Jersey Spine Surgeons will first advise conservative treatment methods for spinal stenosis, as non-surgical treatment options may prove effective at improving symptoms. Treatment options depend on each patient’s needs and symptoms, and may involve:
- Taking pain medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medications depending on the level of pain
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Taking anticonvulsant medications
- Taking muscle relaxer medications
- Getting a cortisone injection
If symptoms are severe, worsen over time, or don’t respond well to conservative therapies, spinal stenosis surgery may be recommended in order to treat the condition. Some of the spinal stenosis surgery options that may be recommended include:
Cervical Spinal Stenosis Surgery Options
- Minimally invasive laminoforaminotomy
- Cervical disc replacement
- Cervical fusion
- Posterior spinal fusion
- Laminotomy and decompression
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Surgery Options
- Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
- Minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
- Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF)
- Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)
- Axial fusion
If you believe you may be suffering from spinal stenosis, the first step is scheduling an evaluation with an experienced spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, we are dedicated to the preservation of motion and function through the latest minimally invasive spine procedures and treatments. Call (844)-7-NJSPINE today or fill out the form on this page to request a consultation at our Princeton and Staten Island orthopedic clinics.