Spinal stenosis treatment and surgery

 

Dr. Brisson is recognized as one of the premier spinal surgeons in New York City. Spinal stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal, which causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Symptoms usually include pain, numbness, a tingling sensation, and loss of motor control. The symptoms can impact many parts of the body, including the arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders.

The two most frequent types of stenosis are spinal lumbar stenosis and cervical spinal stenosis.

 

Spinal lumbar stenosis

This type of stenosis is the most common, and occurs in the lower section of the back. It is often caused by degenerative arthritis, and the symptoms may impact the lower back and legs. If the legs are affected, symptoms might include numbness, weakness, or decreased sensation in one or both legs. At times, spinal lumbar stenosis may also result in incontinence, as it impacts the nerves that control bowel and bladder functions.

Cervical spinal stenosis

Cervical stenosis is similar to lumbar stenosis, except that it occurs in the neck instead of the lower back. There are seven vertebrae located between the chest and head, and this area is known as the cervical spine. When the stenosis narrows the spinal canal in the neck, symptoms might impact the neck, arms, or legs, and may include weakness, numbness, stiffness, and/or pain.

Spinal stenosis treatments

Several options exist for spinal stenosis treatment: non-surgical solutions include physical therapy for pain management and steroid injections. However, if the stenosis is severe, and these less invasive treatments do not improve the symptoms, spinal stenosis surgery may be needed. During the procedure, Dr. Brisson removes the damaged parts of the spine in order to enlarge the spinal canal and relieve pressure on the nerves.

The main type of surgery is decompressive laminectomy, which involves removing part of the vertebra and thickened ligaments to reduce pressure on the nerves. Sometimes, a spinal fusion is also needed to stabilize the spine and relieve pain. This allows the patient to move around more easily and helps keep the bones in place, preventing them from further squeezing the spinal canal and restricting the nerves.

If you have severe symptoms stemming from spinal stenosis and you otherwise have good health, a spinal stenosis surgery will likely be recommended.

Though a skilled spinal stenosis surgeon, Dr. Brisson is conservative in his approach to its treatment. He always explores non-invasive treatment options first, before determining that a laminectomy surgery is needed. With spinal stenosis, as with other back conditions, the goal is to find the most appropriate solution to help the patient achieve a high-quality and pain-free life. If surgery is needed, options might include various types of spinal laminectomy, including a lumbar laminectomy or cervical laminectomy, depending on where the pain is occurring.