Spine Conditions

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal containing the spinal cord and nerve root bundle, or a narrowing of one or more exit canals through which a nerve root exits the spine. It occurs when a nearby structure, such as a degenerated vertebral disc or facet joint, protrude into a space in the spine normally occupied by the spinal cord or a nerve root. Arthritis of the spine is the most common cause but it can also develop due to a tumor, injury, herniated disc, defect from birth, or other condition.

Some patients have no noticeable symptoms but many experience pain in the back or pain, weakness, cramping, numbness or tingling in the leg. Symptoms are often experienced on one side of the body. Typically, pain worsens when standing or walking for a long period of time and is relieved by sitting down or leaning forward from the waist, but some people experience other patterns of activity-related improvement and worsening. Diagnosis is usually made from a medical history and physical, and neurological testing, x-ray, CT scan, MRI, or myelogram.

Treatment consists of pain medication, anti-inflammatory medicine, injections into the epidural space or the facet joints, or physical therapy. Sometimes surgery is needed due to unrelenting pain, worsening weakness in the legs affecting the ability to walk, or other severe problems. Surgical strategy is tailored to the individual person’s needs, and targets removal of abnormal structures compressing the spinal cord or a nerve root, and restoration of lasting, normal spinal function. Some patients are candidates for minimally invasive spinal surgery to relieve severe symptoms.

“I couldn’t walk very far without a great deal of pain in my lower back and feet. It was painful to get out of bed and the first few hours of the day. I couldn’t stand for any period of time. My primary care doctor sent me to various therapists, which were all good, but didn’t get to the root of my problem.

I finally went to see your team, and was diagnosed spinal stenosis. They showed me the MRI on the computer and explained exactly what was going on. I didn’t even have to tell him them symptoms; they told me. 

The surgery went off without a hitch, and within 8 hours I was standing without any pain. Amazing, the problem was gone, a total success. The whole procedure, follow up, everything was well orchestrated according to plan. I am very grateful!”


— RR