What causes spinal stenosis?
A variety of factors can contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing spinal stenosis. While some people are born with a small spinal canal, many people may develop it as a result of spinal injuries, herniated disks, and tumors. Ligaments that thicken and become stiff over time, as well as bone spurs that may result from arthritis damage, can also push into the spinal canal, causing pressure and contributing to spinal stenosis. Age also factors into a person’s risk, with many cases of spinal stenosis occurring in people over the age of 50.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
Spinal stenosis can be diagnosed through several imaging tests, including x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computerized tomography (CT) scans, and may be treated using medication, physical therapy, surgery, or a combination of these approaches depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend one of several procedures, such as a laminectomy, laminotomy, or laminoplasty, to create more space in the spinal canal. A laminectomy removes the affected vertebral bone (also known as the lamina) A laminotomy only removes a part of this bone with the goal of providing relief in a specific spot. A laminoplasty, which is only performed in cases of cervical stenosis, creates a hinge on the lamina to open up the spinal canal.