Spinal Stenosis: Diagnosis and Treatment
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the nerves in your spinal canal and/or the sides where the nerves exit the spinal canal are unable to send signals properly due to tightening (stenosis) around them. There are varying degrees, all of which have different symptoms and therapies. The stenosis can be caused by arthritis, scoliosis, herniated discs and spondylolisthesis to name a few. Spinal stenosis is diagnosed using an MRI or CT scan.
It is important to seek immediate medical help if you experience any of the following symptoms, which may be a sign of severe spinal stenosis:
- Loss of bowel or bladder function
- Progressive weakness or numbness
- Difficulty walking or progressive leg weakness
Spinal Stenosis Treatment Options
Anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, a supportive back brace, weight loss, and rest can all provide help with the inflammation attributing to the pain. If these fail, a steroid injection may be considered to further alleviate the inflammation and pain. We do not recommend more than three epidural steroid injections per year as it can affect bone quality.
If the stenosis of the spine is severe, surgery may be considered to open up the space around the nerves. This may be accomplished through a laminectomy or for aminotomy; however, each patient’s procedure varies.