Spinal Stenosis

Overview

Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal canal that may occur in any of the regions of the spine. It constricts the spinal canal resulting in a neurological deficit. The location of the stenosis determines which area of the body is affected. There are several types of spinal stenosis: lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis being the most frequent. While lumbar spinal stenosis is more common, cervical spinal stenosis is more dangerous because it involves compression of the spinal cord whereas the lumbar spinal stenosis involves compression of the cauda equina.Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the neck and lower back.While some people have no signs or symptoms, spinal stenosis can cause pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems with bladder or bowel function.Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to aging. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves. While some people are born with a small spinal canal, most spinal stenosis occurs when something happens to reduce the amount of space available within the spine.

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