Backpain Overview

Stenosis of the Spine

Stenosis of the spine is a condition which involves both the nerves of the spinal area and the bony structures known as the vertebrae. These vertebrae provide protect the nerves in the spinal column. The nerves in the spinal column  carry information between the body and the brain. Spinal stenosis is a state in which the openings of the vertebrae are narrowed. The nerves move through these openings. The narrowing of the column leads to the compression of the nerves. As a result the normal functioning of the nerves is impaired.

There are some people who have quite narrow spinal canals and there are some people who develop this problem of spinal stenosis at later stages of their life. This problem mainly arises because of the ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Some people have spinal stenosis right from  birth. In such cases the spinal canal is congenitally narrow.

The nerves pass through the spinal canal and these nerves go out from there through the wide space between the spinal bones or vertebrae. When the neural canal becomes narrow or obstructed then you are said to have spinal stenosis. The symptoms  depend on the nerves that are affected. Cervical spinal stenosis affects the neck region and it involves either the spinal cord or the spinal nerves.

Causes of spinal stenosis:

-You can be born with the problem.
 -Injury that causes fractures, slipped discs or other types of trauma to the vertebrae.
 -Medical conditions like Paget's disease. In this disease, deviant bone metabolism leads to deformation  
 of the vertebrae.
 -Degenerative diseases like arthritis.
 -Scoliosis or other such conditions.
 
Symptoms of the problem:

If the problem involves spinal nerves then you will experience numbness, pain, weakness and tingling in the neck, arms and shoulders.

If the problem involves the spinal cord then you will experience difficulty in walking and uncoordinated movement of your legs. 

Treatment for stenosis of spine:
The treatment of spinal stenosis includes anti-analgesic and anti- inflammatory medication. The medicines continue as long as the pain persists. If the  doctors are not able to treat through medication then surgery is the only remaining option.

Nowadays many advanced methods of treatment have been devised. Sometimes the doctors perform the surgery using an endoscope rather than using the old and traditional methods of performing the surgery.