CERVICAL SPINAL STENOSIS
Cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal inside the vertebrae of the neck, known as the cervical vertebrae. As this canal narrows, it can put pressure on the spinal cord and the surrounding nerves, which can lead to neck pain, as well as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the shoulders, arms, and legs.
CERVICAL SPINAL STENOSIS
All of the orthopedic surgeons at Southwest Scoliosis Institute – Richard Hostin, MD, Shyam Kishan, MD, and Kathryn Wiesman, MD – are board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who have performed surgery on more than 27,000 patients with scoliosis and other complex spine conditions such as cervical spinal stenosis.
Cervical spinal stenosis usually occurs in older adults as the result of normal age-related causes like wear and tear, as well as conditions such as arthritis – or due to a combination of both. Other conditions that can lead to cervical spinal stenosis include:
- Cervical disc herniation
- Spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips over the one beneath it)
- Bone spurs
- Injuries to the vertebrae and/or disc(s)
- Spinal tumors
- Previous spine surgery
Cervical Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
- Neck pain
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the hands, legs or feet
- Muscle weakness in the hands, legs or feet
- Difficulty/imbalance while walking or standing
- Difficulty with fine hand movements
In severe cases, loss of bladder or bowel control
Diagnosis and Testing
X-ray of Neck (cervical spine)
Illustration of normal canal and narrowing of canal
The doctor will then confirm a diagnosis using a combination of X-ray imaging, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While X-rays can show whether there are any issues with the bones of the spine, such as bone spurs, loss of bone height or spondylolisthesis, CT and MRI scans may be needed to reveal if there are any problems with the soft tissue, including the spinal cord and nerves.
Southwest Scoliosis Institute uses a cutting-edge digital low dose X-ray imaging system that takes high-quality images in under a minute. This system can also capture X-ray images of patients while in a standing or seated position, and it’s conveniently located inside our Dallas location, which means that patients can review the X-rays with the physician immediately after they are taken.
Treatment for Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis Surgery
The most common surgical procedures for cervical spinal stenosis are:
- Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Spinal Fusion. This surgery is typically used when the compression of the spinal cord and nerves is the result of a cervical disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. In it, the surgeon removes all or part of the affected disc and then performs a fusion procedure to stabilize this section of the spine to hold it in place and allow the bones to heal properly.
- Decompressive laminectomy or laminotomy. This is the most common procedure to correct cervical spinal stenosis. During a laminectomy, the surgeon will remove all or part of the lamina, the back of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. Sometimes, only a small hole is needed to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord, this is referred to as a laminotomy.
- Foraminotomy. The foramen is the passage that nerves use to pass from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. In this procedure, the surgeon cuts a small hole in the vertebra to relieve the pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.
If you or a loved one suffers from spinal pain, you owe it to yourself to call Southwest Scoliosis Institute at
214-556-0555 to make an appointment.