Spinal stenosis is a painful condition that involves the compression of the spine cord or nerves. There are two types: lumbar spinal stenosis and cervical spinal stenosis. While lumbar stenosis is more common, cervical stenosis is often more serious. At Mercy Hospital in Miami, our spine surgeons treat these conditions. Here’s a look at what you need to know about spinal stenosis.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis vary depending on the type. With lumbar spinal stenosis, the spinal nerves in the lower back are compressed. For most patients, this means symptoms of sciatica, which include numbness, tingling, and weakness from the lower back down to the buttocks and legs. With cervical spinal stenosis, the actual spinal cord itself is compressed, making the condition much more dangerous. Patients with cervical spinal stenosis experience whole body weakness, and in severe cases, paralysis.
Many different things can contribute to spinal stenosis. Some common causes include herniated discs, thickened ligaments, bone overgrowth, and injury. In some cases, a tumor that grows inside the spine can cause spinal stenosis. Determining the cause of your symptoms could help shape your treatment.
For many people with spinal stenosis, non-surgical treatments are effective. These include exercises prescribed by a physical therapist, activity modification, and epidural pain injections. Activity modifications may include things like using a walker or sitting in a recliner. Other patients may need spinal decompression surgery to alleviate symptoms. Surgery for spinal stenosis usually provides relief and allows patients to return to their normal activities.
Mercy Hospital’s multidisciplinary team of spine experts brings together physicians, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, and pain management specialists to create a tailored treatment program for patients with back pain. Visit one of our hospital’s physicians for a diagnosis of your back pain and for more information about spinal stenosis treatments. For answers to your questions about our hospital’s spine services, please call (305) 854-4400.