What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis, or spinal narrowing, is a common spinal condition that involves a narrowing in one or more areas of the spine as a result of injury or deterioration to the discs, joints or bones within the spinal canal. The most commons areas of the spine affected by spinal stenosis are the cervical and lumbar regions. While some patients may be born with spinal stenosis, most cases develop later in life as a result of the degenerative changes that occur over time.
Common Causes of Spinal Stenosis
Osteoarthritis is the main cause of spinal stenosis, as it causes the cartilage in the area to deteriorate. Eventually, this deterioration results in the bones rubbing against each other and forming growths or bone spurs. These bone spurs may narrow the spinal canal when they form near the facet joints, the joints that enable you to bend. Spinal stenosis can also be caused by a herniated disc, ligament changes or spinal tumors.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Some patients may not experience any symptoms from this condition. It is only when the narrowed area of the spine compresses the spinal cord or nerves that symptoms arise. If a patient exhibits symptoms as a result of spinal stenosis they can include:
- A loss of sensation in extremities, back, neck, or shoulders
- Bladder malfunctioning
- Cramping, pain, and numbness in the affected areas
- Loss of balance
Diagnosing Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can come and go and may resemble the symptoms of many other conditions. In order to reach a diagnosis of spinal stenosis, Dr. Lipani will first rule out any other conditions. Patients will likely have to undergo one or more imaging exams such as a spinal X-ray, MRI, CT scan, and bone scans. Additionally, Dr. Lipani will ask you several questions about your symptoms and overall health. Based on your answers and imaging results Dr. Lipani can then correctly diagnose your condition and provide an adequate treatment solution.
Spinal Stenosis Treatment
The majority of spinal stenosis cases can be treated through conservative methods such as physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, rest and a back brace. Patients will typically continue these treatments for at least three months. This will give the spine enough time to heal properly and allow for full function. The specific treatment for your individual condition may vary.
In more severe cases of spinal stenosis, surgery may be required to relieve pressure on the spinal cord while also maintaining the integrity of the site. Dr. Lipani may perform procedures such as a decompressive laminectomy, laminotomy or fusion that relieve pressure and join the damaged bone back to its normal state.
“Dr. Lipani and Kathy are more like family than Dr and nurse. Amazing work and bedside manner. Second surgery with them and I feel more like my younger days. If you are in pain they will help. John and Kathy have to be the most caring dedicated people in this profession. Thank you so much for everything.”
Spinal Surgery at Princeton Neurological Surgery
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for spinal stenosis and many other spinal conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for spinal stenosis. Dr. Lipani offers image-guided spine surgery approaches for spinal stenosis treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Lipani performs spinal surgeries using state-of-the-art spinal stenosis treatment in hospitals around New Jersey. Because he has over 15 years of experience, Dr. Lipani knows how to communicate with his patients and ensure they receive the correct spinal surgery option for them. Call Princeton Neurological Surgery today to schedule your consultation.