Everyone knows what the spine is. But what is spinal stenosis? “Stenosis” means narrowing, so spinal stenosis simply means narrowing of the spine.
The function of the spine is very important. Think of the spine as a stack of bones on top of each other in order to support the body and head. The other important function is protecting the spinal cord and the nerves that extend from the bottom of the brain (top of the neck) all the way down. Each of the spinal bones has a hole in the middle. As the spinal bones stack on top of each other, they line up perfectly so that the holes line up with each other. This creates a long tunnel or canal, hence the term spinal canal. Every tunnel has 4 sides: the floor, two walls, and a roof. If there is any narrowing along this canal for any reason, it is called spinal stenosis. As the spinal cord and/or the nerves travel through this confined tunnel, they get compressed.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
Disc herniation can cause stenosis due to the floor of the spinal canal being made of discs and bones. Thickened ligaments in the roof of the spinal canal can also cause stenosis. The walls of the spinal canal are mostly made of bones and they usually stay intact. If one or few of the bones that are stacked on top of each other fall out of alignment, that section of tunnel gets extremely curvy and narrow as well.
Often, a combination of these may happen together in addition to other possible factors.
What is the Best Treatment for Spinal Stenosis?
To treat spinal stenosis, it is important to bring the spine into good alignment and keep it there. The floor and roof of the spinal tunnel may also need to be fixed. As a board-certified spine surgeon, I will use the ideal option for resolving the narrowing and prevent the spinal cord and the nerves from being compressed and damaged.
Plenty of non-invasive options are available to start with. However, if the nerves have to be mechanically decompressed, surgery is needed. The floor is fixed by removing the disc herniation. The roof is raised by removing un-necessary bone and ligaments from the back. The alignment is re-established with instrumentation and fusion if necessary. Every day, new and innovative technology comes out that makes treatment of spinal stenosis more effective and less invasive.
Call the Los Angeles Spine Surgery Expert Today!
If you think you may be suffering from spinal stenosis, it is important to visit a qualified spine surgery specialist to appropriately evaluate your condition and determine the best treatment option. Spinal cord damage can cause serious neurological problems like paralysis, incontinence, or even death in severe cases. Spinal cord damage is sometimes irreversible. Don’t delay in scheduling a consultation with board-certified spinal surgeon Dr. Gravori by calling 888-75-SPINE today!
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