Spinal stenosis is associated with aging because it develops over years of wear-and-tear degeneration, so you may be surprised to learn that it also affects up to 20% of adults younger than 40. As a specialist in spinal disorders, Ripul Panchal, DO, at American Neurospine Institute, PLLC provides holistic care for spinal stenosis, starting with conservative treatment and offering his extensive experience in minimally invasive spinal techniques when surgical intervention is needed. To get relief from back pain, call the office in Plano, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Spinal Stenosis Q & A
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis develops from a progressive narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is made by an opening in the center of each vertebra, creating a passageway for the spinal cord.
Over the years, several degenerative changes occur that diminish the space inside the canal. Spinal stenosis is caused by conditions such as:
- Bone spurs
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint arthritis
- Thickened ligaments
As these conditions extend into the spinal canal, the nearby nerves are compressed, and inflammation develops.
What symptoms develop due to spinal stenosis?
When spinal stenosis leads to pinched nerves, you’ll experience pain in the area of your back where the condition occurs. You may also develop pain, tingling, and numbness along the affected nerve, typically radiating down an arm or leg. In severe cases, you’ll develop muscle weakness in the affected extremity.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
The first line of treatment for spinal stenosis includes conservative measures such as physical therapy or structured exercises and medications to relieve your pain and reduce inflammation. Surgery is only considered if your symptoms persist or get worse despite nonsurgical therapies.
The type of surgery you receive depends on the cause of your spinal stenosis. Most cases require discectomy to remove a herniated disc, followed by disc replacement to restore natural spinal movement and stability.
Dr. Panchal may need to remove bone spurs or thickened ligaments, or perform spinal decompression to eliminate pressure on pinched nerves. He may use one of several techniques for decompressing your spine, ranging from inserting an interspinous spacer to removing small parts of the vertebral bone.
Will I have minimally invasive surgery to treat spinal stenosis?
Dr. Panchal is an expert in minimally invasive spinal surgery, a technique that uses very small incisions. As a result, you have less bleeding during surgery, as well as a lower risk of infection and less pain after surgery.
Following minimally invasive surgery, your recovery is faster compared to open surgery because Dr. Panchal doesn’t cut your muscles. Instead, he gently separates the muscle fibers just enough to insert the narrow surgical tools.
Additionally, if you have a herniated disc, you may be a candidate for robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. With a robotic system, Dr. Panchal’s skill is enhanced as robotic technology improves accuracy.
If you suffer from ongoing back pain, call American Neurospine Institute or schedule an appointment online.