Spinal stenosis is a condition when there is a narrowing in the vertebrae, causing pressure on the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis usually occurs in the lower back or neck. Most patients with spinal stenosis are aged 50 years and over.
The most common cause of spinal stenosis is ageing.
As you age, the process of tissue change occurs throughout the body. The spinal tissue, such as the ligament, begins to thicken and the bones become larger, thus suppressing the nerve. In addition, there are several other conditions that can cause spinal stenosis, including:
- Spinal injury. The spine can experience dislocation or fracture due to an accident, one of which is a traffic accident.
- Tumour. Tumours can appear inside the spinal cord, inside the membrane lining the spinal cord, or in the space between the nerves and vertebrae.
- Paget’s disease, which is a condition when the bone grows abnormally.
- Scoliosis, which is a spinal deformity.
- Spinal disorders from birth
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Symptoms of spinal stenosis are distinguished by the location of the stenosis and the part of the infected nerve.
Neck stenosis (cervical stenosis)
Sometimes symptoms of spinal stenosis can not be felt by the patient and only discovered after going through imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRI.
Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis
At Spinal Stenosis Specialist Clinic, as a first step in diagnosing spinal stenosis, the doctor will ask about signs and symptoms, and discuss the patient’s medical history.
Then, the doctor will carry out a physical examination, especially neurological examination of motor and sensory strength.
The doctor will carry out further tests, such as imaging tests to help determine the cause of symptoms and signs that appear.
Imaging tests include:
- X-rays. Spinal X-rays can show changes that occur, such as narrowing of the gap in the spinal canal.
- MRI. This test can detect damage to the ligament and bone bearing, the presence of a tumour, and show the part of the spinal cord that is under pressure.
- CT myelogram. CT scan produces detailed and cross-sectional images of the patient’s body. CT myelogram is performed after the dye (contrast) is injected. The dye will show the condition of the spinal cord, and can see deformities and bone bearing or the appearance of a tumor in the spine.
Treatment of Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis Specialist Clinic, treatment of spinal stenosis is adjusted according to the location and severity of symptoms and signs of stenosis. There are several forms of treatment for spinal stenosis, including:
Medication for spinal stenosis.
As a first step to treating spinal stenosis, the doctor will provide medicines to relieve pain. These medicines include: Pain relievers, to temporarily reduce pain and discomfort in the spine. Anticonvulsant drugs can reduce pain due to neurological disorders. Antidepressants can reduce ongoing pain.
Physiotherapy for spinal stenosis.
To reduce pain, patients with spinal stenosis tend to reduce their daily activities. However, this can cause the muscles to become weaker, so the pain will increase. Physiotherapy is useful for: Increase body resistance and strength. Maintain flexibility and stability of the spine. Improve body balance.
Corticosteroid injections for spinal stenosis.
This treatment aims to reduce inflammation of the pinched nerves and relieve pain. However, repeated injections of corticosteroids can cause bone and connective tissue around the injection area to become weaker. Therefore, this injection should not be done too often.
Operation for spinal stenosis.
The surgical procedure is performed if other treatment methods are not effective. Spinal stenosis surgery aims to permanently relieve pressure on the spinal cord by creating space in the spinal canal.
Several types of surgical procedures to treat spinal stenosis include:
Laminectomy Decompression surgery for spinal stenosis
Operating procedure to remove part of the vertebrae (lamina) in the bone segment that is pressing against the nerve.
Laminotomy for spinal stenosis
Unlike a laminectomy that removes all of the lamina in the bone segment, laminotomy only removes a portion of the lamina.
Foraminotomy for spinal stenosis
The surgical procedure is to widen the spine where the spinal cord exits.
Complications of Spinal Stenosis
Although rare, severe untreated spinal stenosis can cause permanent complications, including: Numb. Balance disorders. Urinary incontinence, which is a condition when a person cannot control the urine that comes out. Paralysis.
Looking for Spinal Stenosis Specialist Clinic for an effective treatment for spinal stenosis? Call 64762106 or SMS 84998384 for an appointment today.