Spinal stenosis is a condition caused by the gradual narrowing of the spinal canal.
Spinal stenosis is the contraction of the spinal canal as a result of the deterioration of facet joints and inter-vertebral discs. Bone spurs called osteophytes develop due to excessive load on the disc and grow into the spinal canal. These joints also enlarge as they become arthritic and contribute to a decline in the gap available for nerve roots. Muscles in the spinal column become taut, less elastic, and thicker because of adulthood.
Causes and Distortions
This malady may be triggered by a number of procedures that reduce the breach in the spinal canal available for neural elements. Aside from degenerative causes, there are also uncommon causes of stenosis which include crystal deposition disease, amyloidosis, and spinal cancers. Stenosis happens in the central canal where the spinal cord can be found or the tract where nerve root exits the central canal.
Another cause is lateral foramen where individual nerve roots depart from the human body. Distortion of the spinal canal can happen to anyone as they age, yet the gravity of symptoms will depend on the size of the person’s spinal canal and intrusion of neural elements. The rate of deterioration shows a discrepancy from one person to the other and not everyone will feel warning indications.
Symptoms of Stenosis
A number of people diagnosed with degenerative disorder of the spine may be completely asymptomatic. Others complain of slight discomfort in the lower posterior while others find it difficult to walk. Patients with significant stenosis can experience pain in the buttocks or top part of the leg brought about by prolonged standing or walking. The more acute symptoms include numbness, stinging sensation or weakness in the lower parts of the body. Gravity of the symptoms depends on factors like original breadth of the spinal canal, susceptibility of nerves, patient’s unique functional demands, and tolerance for pain of the patient.
Diagnosis of Stenosis
Detection of spinal stenosis starts by determining the complete history and conducting physical exams. The doctor finds out current symptoms, how long these have existed, and what makes it better or worse. The examination is required to verify the seriousness of your illness and whether or not it causes weakness in some parts of your body.
The medical experts will discuss possible treatments with the patient – usually beginning with anti-inflammatory drugs (without steroids) and physical therapy. These are meant for people who are not afflicted with nerve root compression as well as muscle weakness. Surgery is considered only after physical therapy, rest, and prescription medicines have failed to mitigate the symptoms.