Can Spinal Stenosis Be Reversed?

Spinal stenosis, which is narrowing of the spinal canal, is a common and often increasingly painful condition that can cause symptoms anywhere along your spine. Spinal nerves in the narrowed area become irritated and inflamed, which can lead to tingling, numbness, and other debilitating symptoms in your arms or legs.

Dr. Patrick Doherty of Yale Neurosurgery New London in New London, Connecticut, has the skills necessary for accurately diagnosing and treating painful conditions such as spinal stenosis.

Widely recognized by colleagues as a top-rated specialist in his field, our board-certified neurosurgeon is also well-known for his dedication to providing compassionate, patient-focused care that utilizes the most conservative but effective treatments available today.

Learn what our expert has to say about spinal stenosis and how it’s treated.

Understanding the basics of spinal stenosis

Most often a consequence of another issue, such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis refers to narrowing of the spinal canal. This reduces the space through which your spinal nerves travel and can cause pain and nerve dysfunction related to what physicians sometimes refer to as a pinched or trapped nerve root.

What causes spinal stenosis?

Some individuals are born with a relatively narrow spinal canal. Conditions such as scoliosis or Paget’s disease can also cause stenosis. Most often, however, spinal stenosis develops slowly over time and may be due to:

They’re quite rare, but a spinal tumor or abnormal growth can also cause spinal stenosis.

What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?

The symptoms you experience depend on the location of the stenosis. It can occur anywhere along the spine, but the most common types are:

Cervical stenosis

This type of stenosis occurs in the neck. Depending on the nerves affected, it may cause neck pain as well as discomfort, tingling, and numbness in your shoulder and into the arm.

Lumbar stenosis

This type of stenosis affects your lower back and is the most common kind. Sciatica is often a symptom of lumbar stenosis and can cause back pain and/or a pins-and-needles sensation, muscle weakness, and numbness in one or both legs.

It may take years for you to develop symptoms of spinal stenosis, which can be relatively mild and infrequent or more severe and essentially constant. Pain related to stenosis often worsens with prolonged standing or walking.

How do you treat spinal stenosis?

Depending on the underlying cause of your stenosis, Dr. Doherty may recommend:

If these conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief, Dr. Doherty may offer you the option of robotic surgery that’s aimed at solving the underlying structural problems contributing to the spinal narrowing, such as disc herniation.

Because it’s less invasive and more precise, robot-assisted surgery generally means faster healing and a quicker recovery time than traditional back surgery.

For an accurate diagnosis of what’s causing your back or neck pain and an effective, customized treatment plan, schedule a visit with us at Yale Neurosurgery New London today. Call our office or use the online scheduler right here on the website.

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