Understanding Stenosis

T


he bones of the spine create a canal which holds a delicate spinal cord where nerves travel. In a healthy normal spine, the passageway is wide, allowing for plenty of room for the nerves and spinal fluid. Meanwhile, Spinal Stenosis refers to a narrowing of this canal, which can occur in the neck (cervical spine) or lower back (lumbar spine). When stenosis occurs, there can be pressure on the spine or spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis usually results from spondylosis of the joints in the spine. Similar to the knuckles of an arthritic hand becoming enlarged and swollen, arthritic joints in the spine can become overgrown. When this happens the joints crowd into the canal where the spinal cord and nerves travel, squeezing these structures.

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

Cervical stenosis leads to pressure on the spinal cord, which in turn can cause spinal cord dysfunction. This can cause the patient to experience a myriad of symptoms including weakness in the arms or legs, numbness, loss of balance, and loss of hand dexterity. In the lumbar spine, stenosis typically can cause neck pain and back pain, heaviness, or weakness in the legs in a very characteristic pattern of radiculopathy or sciatica. Patients report that symptoms are worst when they are upright and walking, the only way they can feel relief is by bending over or sitting down (which causes the spinal canal to widen). Patients with lumbar stenosis typically lean on objects for stability.

Spinal Stenosis places pressure on the spinal column and nerves, including the primary nerves that control extremities.

Expert Care From New Jersey’s Most Comprehensive Spine and Neurosurgical Facilities

The compassionate care and precision found at North Jersey Spine Group (NJSG) is unrivaled, offering board certified neurosurgeons, also spine surgeons, as well as a complete non-surgical team of physiatrists, pain management and physical therapists. From minor conditions that respond well to conservative treatments, to more serious conditions that may require complex surgery, the award-winning team uses advanced medical technology and practices to ensure faster recovery for each patient. NJSG offers multiple convenient locations spanning northern NJ to treat patients from Bergen County to Essex County including towns of Fair Lawn, Montclair, and Hackensack, NJ. Patients are welcome to contact NJSG to alleviate syptoms of spinal stenosis today.

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