Spinal Stenosis (Cervical, Lumbar or Thoracic)

Orange County Spine Surgery Specialists

Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal. It can occur in any region of the spine, including the lumbar (low back) and cervical spine (neck). As the normal wear-and-tear of aging causes the spine to change over time, spinal stenosis most often affects adults over the age of 50. Arthritis, or the degeneration of joints in the body (degenerative disc disease), is the most common cause of spinal stenosis. When degenerative changes cause severe narrowing, it can create pressure on the spinal nerve roots and the spinal cord.

Narrowing of the spine and nerve compression can lead to a number of symptoms, including:

  • Radiating pain, including pain that extends to the buttocks and legs as well as the arms
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs or upper arms

Whether spinal stenosis develops as a person ages, or results from a congenital disorders that lead to narrowing of the spinal canal, the condition can cause chronic pain and greatly reduce one’s ability to enjoy physical activities, handle daily tasks, or even walk, sit, and stand without pain.

At Hoag Orthopedic Institute, our goal is to help our patients overcome these challenges so they can resume active and independent lives. To achieve this, we pool the collective abilities of our spine specialists and medical professionals and provide care in an orthopedic-only facility equipped with the latest tools and technology.

Diagnosing and Treating Spinal Stenosis

Diagnosing spinal stenosis is essential to targeted and effective treatment, which is why our Board Certified physicians conduct personalized evaluations to discuss your medical history and symptoms, and perform diagnostic tests, which may include X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, among others.

Once spinal stenosis has been identified, your treatment options will vary depending on its severity. In some cases, patients may find some relief from nonsurgical approaches, including medication and physical therapy. However, if conservative care does not improve narrowing of the spinal canal, and in cases where the condition continues to cause pain and create limitations for patients, surgery may be considered.

Our spine surgeons specialize in treating spinal stenosis using advanced techniques, including minimally invasive surgery. While treatment will always vary from patient to patient, surgery for spinal stenosis may involve:

  • Laminectomy – Also called decompression, laminectomy involves the removal of bone spurs, bones, and ligaments that compress nerve roots and cause pain. Depending on the individual patient and their condition, a laminectomy may be performed as a minimally invasive spine surgery, which consists of several small incisions, or as traditional open surgery.
  • Spinal fusion – When degeneration or arthritis has caused the spine to become unstable, decompression may also be performed with spinal fusion. This procedure joins two or more vertebrae in the back or neck, and may be performed using several methods.

In addition to performing surgical procedures, our multi-disciplinary professionals are also able to offer pain management, rehabilitation, and physical therapy to help patients as they progress through their recoveries.

Schedule a Consultation with a Spine Specialist Today

Hoag Orthopedic Institute is a nationally ranked orthopedic hospital and performs the highest volume of orthopedic procedures in California. Our Board-Certified doctors are experts in treating conditions of the spine, including spinal and cervical stenosis, and providing the comprehensive care patients need to obtain exceptional outcomes. If you suffer from spinal stenosis, or are experiencing back or neck pain, we encourage you to schedule an evaluation with one of our spine experts. Find a spine doctor today by using our online physician directory.

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