Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal and occurs when we age, most often in the elderly. There are two types of spinal stenosis: cervical which involves the neck and lumbar which is the lower back.

When the spinal canal narrows it can squeeze and compress the nerve roots where they leave the spinal cord, or it may compress or damage the spinal cord itself.



Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

Many people who have spinal stenosis do not experience any symptoms unless the spinal cord or nerves becomes squeezed. Symptoms include:

Cervical Spinal Stenosis

  • Stiffness, pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, or legs.
  • Balance and coordination problems, such as shuffling or tripping while walking. Cervical spinal stenosis can be crippling if the spinal cord is damaged.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control (incontinence).

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

  • Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in the legs, feet, or buttocks. These symptoms get worse when you walk, stand straight, or lean backward. The pain gets better when you sit down or lean forward.
  • Stiffness in the legs and thighs.
  • Low back pain.
  • In severe cases, loss of bladder and bowel control.

Screening & Diagnosing Spinal Stenosis

 Your doctor can tell if you have cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis by asking questions about your symptoms and past health and by doing a physical exam.

You will probably need imaging tests such as an MRI, a CT scan, and sometimes X-rays.


Treating Spinal Stenosis

For most cases of spinal stenosis, symptoms can be controlled with medicine, exercise and physical therapy.

In severe cases, pain specialists will develop a care plan, but innovative, minimally-invasive sursgery may be necessary to relieve pressure to restore normal function of the legs. Surgery involves removing some of the disc, bone and/or tissue that may be pressing on the nerve roots. Vertebrae are often joined together surgically (fused) to provide stability to the spine.


Meet our Spinal Stenosis Specialists:

Sarah Coffin

 

Neurosurgery

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute - Neurosurgery
North Haven, CT 06473
Bernardo De Andrada Pereira

4.9

Neurosurgery

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute - Neurosurgery
Norwich, CT 06360
More Locations
Mystic, CT 06355
Oliver Hulland

4.9

Pain Medicine

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute - Neurosurgery
North Haven, CT 06473
Gaurav Kapur

4.8

Pain Medicine

Medical Group Hartford HealthCare Pain Treatment Center
Norwich, CT 06360
Anthony Karam

 

Pain Medicine

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute
Milford, CT 06461
Gregory Kuzmik

4.9

Spine Surgery

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute - Neurosurgery
North Haven, CT 06473
More Locations
Meriden, CT 06451
Nazer Qureshi

4.7

Neurosurgery

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute
Medical Arts
Southington, CT 06489
More Locations
Plainville, CT 06062
Heidi Walberg

4.9

Neurosurgery

Medical Group Spine Wellness Center
Spine Wellness Center
Westport, CT 06880
More Locations
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Ayer Neuroscience Institute Spine Care