Stenosis refers to a narrowing of an opening that is normally larger. In
spinal stenosis, the normally clear opening of the spinal canal has narrowed,
resulting in a channel that is too small for the spinal cord. Approximately
75% of spinal stenosis cases involve the lumbar spine and commonly affect
older patients (about age 60) due to the
degeneration of the spine over time.
Sciatica - cramping, tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from
the lower back to the buttocks and legs and worsens with activity
Your physician will conduct a physical exam that may require you to do
a series of movements to determine where the pain is in the legs and lower
back as well as to determine your strength and your ability to move. To
assess nerve function, your physician may use a rubber hammer to check
Diagnostic imaging tests may be ordered that include: CT scan of the spine,
EMG, MRI of the spine, and/or X-rays.
In a posterior cervical foraminotomy, your physician will, from the back
of the neck, relieve the pressure on the spinal nerves by cutting or shaving
away parts of the open to open the nerve root opening (foramen) in the
lumbar area, where the spinal nerves branch out to the lower extremities.
A laminectomy removes the lamina, two small bones that make up a vertebra.
This is another procedure that is used to relieve pressure placed on the
spinal nerves. By removing the bones, more space is created in the spinal
column, giving the nerves more room.
A spinal fusion may be performed after a foraminotomy or a laminectomy
to further stability. This surgery will fuse together two vertebral bones
together, one on top of another, so that there is no longer any movement
between them. This fusion can be done with screws, plates, or cages. Depending
on your individual medical history and current health status, our spine
specialists may recommend an artificial disc replacement instead of a
Rheumatoid arthritis, a condition where joints in the upper neck may be
destroyed causing severe stiffness and pain.
- Spondylolysis (click here to read more about this condition)
- Sports Injury
- Abnormal sensations, such as prickling or burning
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder or upper back pain
Immediate medical care should be sought when an injury causes neck pain
that shoots down the arms and legs.
Pain or numbness that present in the arms and legs without serious neck pain.
If there has not been an injury and you experience neck pain that is:
- Consistent and persistent over a period of time
- Accompanied by pain in the arms and legs
- Accompanied by headaches, dizziness, tingling, or weakness in the legs
- A hard fall
- Car accident that involves whiplash
- Contact sports injuries
- Headache in the back of the head
- Muscle spasms and pain in upper shoulders
- Neck stiffness or decreased range of motion (sideways, up and down, circular)
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in arm or hand
- Pain in the back of the neck that worsens with movement
- Pain that gets worse a day or so after the injury, not immediately
- Sore Throat
- Bone diseases
- Genetic or congenital problems can influence the development of the spinal cord
- Poor dietary habits
- Poor posture and body mechanics
- Physical abuse