Carolinas Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Ashraf F. Guirgues, MD, FAAOS
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery & Robotic Surgery located in Morehead City, NC, Jacksonville, NC & Swansboro, NC
Spinal stenosis is a frequent cause of back or neck pain due to the narrowed spinal canal pressing on nerves coming out of your spinal cord. If you have spinal stenosis, fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon Ashraf Guirgues, MD, and the team at Carolinas Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery can help. They specialize in performing minimally invasive procedures and using robotic surgery to relieve the cause of spinal stenosis. Find out if you could benefit from the team's expertise by calling the Morehead City, Swansboro, or Jacksonville, North Carolina, location, or use the online booking tool today.
Spinal Stenosis Q&A
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition where your spinal canal gets narrower. The spinal canal is the space formed by your vertebrae that surrounds your spinal cord. It protects your spinal cord and provides openings in the vertebrae for the nerves that branch out through your body.
There isn't much room to spare in your spinal canal. Therefore, if anything happens to your spine that causes it to get narrower, there's a good chance the nerves coming away from your spinal cord are going to get irritated or pinched.
This kind of nerve compression is known as radiculopathy. More rarely, spinal stenosis can result in pressure on your spinal cord, which is called myelopathy.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
Not everyone who has spinal stenosis is troubled by their condition, but it can cause symptoms such as:
- Back or neck pain
- "Pins-and-needles" sensations
- Tingling, burning, or prickling feelings
- Problems walking
- Difficulties with balance
- Weakness in the limbs
Spinal stenosis pain and other symptoms tend to affect your arms if the narrowing is in your neck (cervical spinal stenosis), and your legs if the narrowing is in your lower back (lumbar spinal stenosis). Lumbar stenosis can also lead to bladder and bowel incontinence.
Why might I get spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Thickened spinal ligaments
- Osteophytes (bone spurs)
- Paget's disease
- Spinal injuries
- Spinal tumors
You're more likely to suffer from spinal stenosis when you get older, as one of the primary causes is age-related wear-and-tear. Experiencing spine injuries when you're younger makes you more prone to developing spinal stenosis.
What treatments are there for spinal stenosis?
If you have spinal stenosis, but it's not causing any symptoms, treatment isn't necessary. However, if you're having problems with radiculopathy because of your spinal stenosis, the Carolinas Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery recommends a program of conservative treatments, to begin with.
Your treatment program could consist of therapies such as:
- Pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Manual manipulation
For many people who have spinal stenosis, these non-surgical approaches are highly successful in relieving their symptoms. If you're not finding the benefit of conservative methods after several months, the Carolinas Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery team is happy to go over your surgical options.
What type of surgery can help with spinal stenosis?
The Carolinas Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery team offers two main options for spinal stenosis surgery:
During a laminectomy, the team removes any bone, connective tissue, or bone spurs that are pinching your spinal nerves.
The team often performs spinal fusion in combination with laminectomy. The procedure involves fusing the vertebrae on each side of the area responsible for the nerve pressure.
The Carolinas Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery team can perform these procedures using minimally invasive spine surgery or, in many cases, robotic surgery.
If you've got back or neck pain due to spinal stenosis, call Carolinas Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery today or book an appointment online.