Do I Need Surgery for Spinal Stenosis?

You may have neck or back pain and other symptoms for many reasons. Among the possible reasons for this pain, spinal stenosis is a possible cause. Spinal stenosis symptoms, if left unchecked, could present more severe symptoms like paralysis and loss of bladder or bowel control.
A spine doctor at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can help you diagnose stenosis after evaluating your medical records and recommend available treatments for the early or advanced stages of spinal stenosis. Our Concierge Team can also help coordinate everything for you to alleviate stress and streamline your treatment.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Your spine is made up of vertebrae bones stacked on top of one another. This configuration forms a shaft called the spinal canal, which the spinal cord occupies. There are also gaps on the left and right sides of the spine for nerves to protrude from the spinal cord and branch off.

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal and the gaps between the vertebrae. This narrowing can happen for several reasons, such as:

  • Aging
  • Arthritis
  • Tumors
  • Vertebrae fractures
  • Dislocation of the spine
  • Genetic conditions

As the body ages, ligaments, bones, and joints can thicken from calcification. This thickening enlarges these elements, gradually infiltrating the space around the spinal cord and narrowing the spinal canal and vertebrae nerve passages, potentially leading to spinal stenosis. 

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The narrowing of the spinal canal and nerve passages will most likely affect the cervical or lumbar spines. If stenosis occurs in the cervical spine, you will often experience symptoms in your neck, shoulders, and upper limbs. Stenosis in the lumbar spine will present symptoms in the lower back and lower limbs.

If the stenosis is in the early stages, you may not have any symptoms at all. However, when damaged or calcified vertebrae, ligaments, or discs compress or pinch a nerve, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain radiating down the upper and lower limbs
  • Pain and discomfort in the neck and back area
  • Tingling, numbness, weakness in the upper or lower limbs

Stenosis can even lead to difficulty walking, keeping your balance, or paralysis. It’s important to see a spine doctor when experiencing these symptoms and follow the doctor’s treatment directions precisely. 

Do I Need Surgery for Spinal Stenosis?

The treatments that a doctor might recommend will be based on how advanced the stenosis has progressed. They will often first advise you to take anti-inflammatory pain relief medications and exercise or participate in physical therapy to strengthen muscles which will help with short-term pain relief and mobility. However, if your pain is chronic or these other treatment options don’t help, surgery is often recommended.

With surgery, the underlying causes like herniated discs, fractures, bone spurs, or slipped vertebrae can be repaired, relieving your symptoms. Your doctor can help you determine if you need surgery based on your symptoms and if other treatment options haven’t helped. 

The Orthopedic Doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic Can Help With Your Spinal Stenosis Condition

The spine orthopedic doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic are the leading experts in even the most severe spinal conditions. We can recommend treatments available depending on the stage of your spinal stenosis condition and relieve you of your neck and back pain sooner rather than later.

At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our compassionate spine doctors understand what it’s like to try and live life with chronic back pain. We will do everything possible to eliminate or significantly reduce your pain and regain your quality of life. Call (866) 553-0612 or complete our contact form for more information about resolving your chronic back pain.

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