Three Types of Stenosis a Spinal Surgeon Can Address
The many segments of the spine are in positions that allow them to remain neutral to the sensitive nerves of the spinal cord. When the space of the spinal column becomes compressed, you may feel extreme discomfort and pain because the spine is out of its proper position. Cases in which compression is the cause of spinal discomfort are referred to as stenosis, of which there are three different types.
- Spinal Stenosis: This condition can be seen in the cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (lower back). Spinal stenosis occurs when the areas housing the nerve roots are compressed by the walls of the spinal column. The nerves respond to the added pressure applied to them by sending pain signals and creating numbness in the upper or lower extremities, depending on the location of the problem.
- Spinal Canal Stenosis:
The spinal canal is a very narrow opening where the spinal cord and nerve roots are housed. It runs from the cervical spine all the way to the lumbar spine, so spinal canal stenosis can occur in any part of the back. This condition squeezes the nerves as the canal narrows. It may be caused by a wide range of factors including arthritis, injury, or simple wear and tear of the spine.
- Foraminal Stenosis: The foramen is the space through which nerve roots branch out into other parts of the body. When the foramen is compressed in cases of foraminal stenosis, only a few vertebrae are affected. Although the pain of this condition is fairly isolated, it can still cause major disruption to your daily activities.
All three of these types of stenosis can be treated through laser spine surgery, which you can learn more about by contacting the Spine Institute of Marc A. Cohen, M.D. Schedule a consultation to discuss your back pain by calling (973) 538-4444 or visiting our website.