Statistics compiled by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons report that 11% of Americans live with spinal stenosis. Rubin Bashir, MD, and his Texas Ortho Spine Center team are an outstanding resource for top-quality diagnostic and treatment services for those living in or near Houston, Texas. Book your appointment today online or by phone to learn more.
Your spine is a complex of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues. A primary purpose of the human spine is to create a protected passageway for your spinal cord, which along with your brain, composes your central nervous system.
When that passageway narrows, pressure can be placed on the nerve tissue housed inside. This is called spinal stenosis, and it usually happens in the neck (cervical) or lower (lumbar) spine.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis differ depending on where the narrowing happens. Spinal stenosis in the cervical spine can lead to:
Spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine can lead to:
Some people experience only mild symptoms, but the pain and abnormal sensations can be overwhelming for others.
Treating spinal stenosis begins by determining the root cause of the problem. Some possible reasons include:
Drug therapy can help manage the pain of spinal stenosis. Some people only need over-the-counter medications, while others rely on opioid medications to treat severe pain. Antidepressants and some anti-seizure drugs have been shown to help treat spinal stenosis.
Steroid injections can reduce inflammation in the spine. Decompression procedures help by removing areas of thickened ligament.
For others, surgery is the best approach for correcting spinal stenosis. Surgical procedures include:
This cervical (neck) spine surgery opens up the lamina, the spine’s “roof,” making more room for the spinal cord.
This surgery, done on the cervical and lumbar (lower back) parts of the spine, removes the lamina entirely, creating space for the spinal cord.
This surgery removes part of the lamina, relieving pressure in the spinal canal. It, too, is used primarily on the cervical and lumbar portions of the spine.
This surgery, which can be done anywhere along the spine, fuses two or more vertebrae. The surgery limits movement but eliminates pain.
If you’d like to learn more or are ready to book a diagnostic exam, call Texas Ortho Spine Center today for an appointment. You can also use the online booking page to find a time that fits your schedule.