U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

what is spinal stenosis

10 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Myles Greenberg
Emergency Medicine 28 years experience
Spinal narrowing: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal (which contains the spinal cord and nerves) caused by enlargement of the surrounding ligaments and bones. This enlargement creates pressure on the nerves and/or spinal cord and their blood supply resulting usually in back and/or leg pain, especially when the patient is walking upright. The condition usually occurs in older people.
Dr. Myles Greenberg
Emergency Medicine 28 years experience
Provided original answer
For a new, less invasive procedure (the MILD procedure) for certain patients with spinal stenosis check out this website: http://www.mildprocedure.com
Feb 3, 2012
Dr. Bikash Bose
Dr. Bikash Bose commented
Neurosurgery 45 years experience
Disc encroaching into the spinal canal can also cause spinal stenosis in addition to ligament and bony overgrowth.
May 28, 2014
Dr. David Bozak
Specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Narrowing...: It's a narrowing of the central canal that your spinal cord travels through.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Too small a canal: Spinal stenosis is a spinal canal too small for its nerve tissue contents. This can be on a congenital basis or an acquired basis due to age related degenerative changes or even result from disc issues or from spinal deformities or instabilities or even from spinal fractures or possibly from prior spine surgery. This last reason is not fully conclusive.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Spinal stenosis.: Spinal stenosis in a condition wherein tissue grows around the spinal cord, causing gradual compression and pain. It's progressive and unrelenting. Unfortunately leading to debility and pain. Surgical options are available which may help, but left alone it'll cause progressive limitations. The rate of progression is unpredictable.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Most are treated non operatively with about 15% of cases truly indicated for surgery. 20% of the population by age 60 has imaging evidence of this condition by CT or MRI but remain asymptomatic with those that have symptoms usually responding to non op care. This disease is an age relatd process taking years to develop so most people accomadate or adapt to any symptoms.
Dec 22, 2014
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Narrowing: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing or "pinching" of the spinal canal.
Dr. Steven Simon
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 38 years experience
Pressure on cord: Imagine an hour glass with wide base and narrow center. Now consider that the spinal cord rests in a wide canal with ample room. But bulging discs, bony overgrowth and thicker ligaments can fill the canal, causing pressure on this sensitive structure and its connecting nerve roots, and leading to painful conditions
Dr. Alexandre De Moura
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 31 years experience
Varies: Treatment options very. I would first recommend conservative treatment. This may include physical therapy along with anti-inflammatory medications. Epidural steroid injections can also help. Ultimately if all fails surgery maybe warranted. See your orthopedic spinal specialist for a true evaluation.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Many options: Sometimes just observation if just mild symptoms. Medication, exercises and physical therapy are options as well as pain management with epidural steroid injections . If nonop care fails and symptoms are severe enough, surgery is an option.
Dr. Kevin Vaught
Neurosurgery 28 years experience
Many options: Spinal stenosis can be treated conservatively with physical therapy and lumbar epidural steroid injections. Your spine specialist can thoroughly evaluate you and help coordinate conservative care if appropriate. Surgery is usually helpful if all else fails. Check out spine-health.Com.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Multiple: There are multiple treatments available for spinal stenosis to varying degrees of success. The most common nonoperative treatment for spinal stenosis is typically an epidural steroid injection.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with
membership

Similar questions

A 21-year-old member asked:

Where does spinal stenosis occur?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roger Frankel
Neurosurgery 29 years experience
Anywhere in the spin: Spinal stenosis is most common in the low back and neck, since these are the most mobile areas of the spine. However it does occur in the thoracic (mid back) region as well, though less frequently.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Who treats spinal stenosis?

4 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roger Frankel
Neurosurgery 29 years experience
Spine surgeon: Whether or not you need surgery, an experienced neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon is the best resource to educate you in the treatment options available.
Dr. Estrada Bernard
Neurosurgery 38 years experience
Ultimately if other approaches fail surgery may be indicated for quality of life . The surgery options may range from a minimally invasive decompression to decompression with fusion depending on the nature of the pain and whether there may be instability .
Feb 8, 2015
CA
A 24-year-old member asked:

Is spinal stenosis inherited?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 18 years experience
Not really: Spinal stenosis can be caused by many things. But as long as the canal is narrowed, by a variety of things, we call it stenosis. Congenital stenosis means you were born with a narrow canal. Other common causes of stenosis would be arthritis that causes bone and tissue to occupy the canal and make it narrow. Other less common forms of stenosis would tumor and infection.
A 39-year-old member asked:

What causes spinal stenosis?

8 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Katharine Garnier
Family Medicine 33 years experience
Several things: Spinal stenosis can be congenital but is also acquired with aging, or trauma, by either arthritis, herniated discs or even vertebral collapse as people age, which can result in vertebra slipping across each other which can cause stenosis too. It is important to see a neurosurgeon for evaluation, or a orthopedist who specializes in the spine, for full evaluation and treatment, surgery is an option.
A 44-year-old male asked:

Treatment for spinal stenosis?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
None to surgery : Up to 20% of the population will have stenosis by imaging studies by age 60. A lot have little to minimal symptoms. Treatment can include: medication, exercise/physical therapy, zero degree lordosis brace, epidural steroid injections & if all treatment fails & symptoms warrant it, surgery in terms of decompressing the neural elements by a laminectomy in the lower back & several options in neck.

Related questions

A member asked:
3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
A member asked:
2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
A 36-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
A 38-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
A 43-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with
membership
Last updated Jul 13, 2018

People also asked

Related topics

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
$30 per visit with
membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.