The narrowing of spaces in the spine puts pressure on the spinal cord and or nerve roots that causes pain and can interfere with walking, bladder function or normal neurological function. In many advanced cases of stenosis, decompression surgery is indicated in order to restore normal functioning.
Stenosis, or narrowing, in the spinal canal can cause chronic pain, numbness, muscle weakness and neural impingement. Stenosis is commonly caused by arthritis or age related changes that lead to enlargement of the facet joints and or thickening of the ligaments around the nerves which then place pressure on the nerves. Stenosis treatments such as laminectomy focus on “decompressing” the nerves by removing a small portion of bone and ligaments over the nerve root, and/or disc material under it, to give the nerve more space to move freely and heal. Spinal decompression can be performed anywhere along the spine from the neck (cervical) to the lower back (lumbar).
In some cases, a spinal instrumentation and fusion may also be recommended to stabilize treated areas.