You might not associate extremity weakness or numbness with back problems initially, but spinal stenosis often causes nerve compression leading to such symptoms. At Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Justin Dazley, MD, and his team treat spinal stenosis, starting with a conservative treatment approach. They also provide same-day outpatient surgery for severe cases. For more information about spinal stenosis and available treatments, call Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery or book an appointment online today.
If you have spinal stenosis, the spaces within your spine are narrow and may place pressure on nerves in the region. Usually, spinal stenosis develops because of age-related changes to the bones in your spine, such as osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions. It can also come from:
At Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery, the team treats spinal stenosis regardless of its cause. They ask about your symptoms, conduct a physical exam, and might perform imaging tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, computed tomography (CT) scans, or X-rays to locate the issue causing your spinal stenosis.
In most cases, spinal stenosis happens in either the cervical or lumbar sections of your spine. The two main types of spinal stenosis cause similar symptoms that occur in different regions. You might have:
Cervical spinal stenosis occurs in your cervical spine, located in your neck. Common symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis include numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs, neck pain, and issues with walking and balance.
Lumbar spinal stenosis originates in your lower back. If you have it, your symptoms might include numbness, cramping, or weakness in your legs and back pain.
After your initial physical exam and diagnosis, the team at Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery creates an individualized treatment plan for you, starting with a conservative approach. Your treatment depends on the severity and the location in your spine. Your plan might involve:
Medications can help ease your symptoms. The team often prescribes pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs to reduce pain from nerve damage.
Steroid injections can ease some of the inflammation aggravating the nerves in your spine.
Physical therapy helps you build strength and maintain or improve your spine’s flexibility.
Decompression is a minimally invasive procedure to remove a portion of a thickened ligament, causing your spinal stenosis. The team only recommends decompression if a thick or stiff ligament is causing your symptoms.
In some cases, the team at Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery recommends minimally invasive surgery to treat spinal stenosis, like spinal fusion surgery. In many cases, surgery for spinal stenosis is available on an outpatient basis.
If you have symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, call Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery or book an appointment online today.