The spinal cord is comprised of a bundle of nerves that connects the brain to the tissues and muscles of the body. It is protected within the vertebral column and branches out from openings in the vertebrae to specific parts of the body. The vertebrae and intervertebral discs that cushion each vertebra can degenerate due to age, diet, lifestyle or injury, providing less support and protection for the spinal cord within and compressing the sensitive nerves. In severe cases, the nervous tissue may be pinched, interfering with the brain’s ability to send and receive messages from a particular part of the body.
Compression of the spinal cord is a spinal condition that can occur at any section of the spine and may cause pain, muscle weakness, or numbness. An expert surgeon can diagnose the cause of spinal or nerve compression and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to help alleviate the symptoms, repair the damage, and/or stop the condition from worsening.
The board-certified neurosurgeons at ProMed SPINE have undergone extensive training in the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical procedures. To learn more about our treatments or to schedule your initial consultation at one of our three locations – Beverly Hills, Encino, or Valencia – please contact us today!
What Causes Pinched Nerves?
The spinal cord and nerve tissue can become compressed by a wide range of conditions and diseases, including:
- Spinal Stenosis – Often caused by aging and degeneration of the spine, spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord that travels through it. This condition can occur in the central spine, also known as central spinal canal stenosis.
- Foraminal Stenosis – Similar to spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis causes the openings in which the spinal cord branches out from the vertebrae to the rest of the body becomes narrow as a result of arthritis or inflammation
- Synovial Cyst – A small fluid-filled sac may form along the spine as a result of weakness or degeneration. Synovial cysts are benign but may result in nerve compression similar to stenosis, which may cause pain or numbness in connected areas of the body.
- Sciatica – When the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower lumbar section of the spine through the buttocks to the legs, is irritated or compressed by a hernia, bulging disc, or stenosis within the lumbar, the individual may experience constant pain running along the sciatic nerve, numbness in the leg or foot, or burning or tingling sensations that make it difficult to walk.
- Thecal Sac Compression – The spinal cord and nerves are also protected by a membrane filled with cerebral spinal fluid known as the thecal sac or dural sac. Flattening or compression of the thecal sac will occur in other conditions that cause pressure or pinching of the spinal cord, such as stenosis.
Learn more about pinched nerves by visiting WebMD.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Compression
In order to relieve the painful or uncomfortable symptoms of compression of the spinal cord or pinched nerves in the neck, back or lower back, the skilled spine surgeons at ProMed SPINE will first create a regimen of conservative treatments, including physical therapy, medication, and steroid injections. Non-surgical treatments can be very effective in controlling pain and reducing inflammation. Depending on the patient, surgery may not be necessary.
When non-surgical methods fail to treat severe neurological issues or pain, surgery may be the best course of action. Our spine and neurosurgeon experts specialize in the following state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedures:
- Microsurgery – Using microscopic incisions to remove bone, ligament, or spinal disc material to alleviate compression.
- Interspinous Process Decompression – An implant is used to relieve compression along the lumbar region.
- Percutaneous Discectomy – Percutaneous discectomy is a laser surgery that reduces pressure caused by herniated or bulging discs.
- Percutaneous Foraminotomy – Percutaneous foraminotomy is a laser operation that removes bone and/or ligament that causes nerve compression at the foraminal space of the vertebrae.
Contact Encino Spinal Experts Today
Each of the experienced doctors at ProMed SPINE is a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in orthopedic and neurological spine surgery as well as pain management. Our team is comprised of preeminent experts in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery and we use only the most advanced surgical and non-surgical procedures to treat nerve and spinal cord conditions.
To learn more about our treatments or to schedule your consultation, please call us at 888-75-SPINE or fill out our online contact form.
Next, please read about central spina canal stenosis.