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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis specialist located in Brandon, FL

More than 20% of adults over 60 have signs of lumbar spinal stenosis on imaging tests. At the NeuroSpine Center, premier neurosurgeon Phillip Henkin, MD, offers lumbar spinal stenosis care with a personalized approach and emphasis on excellent outcomes. Dr. Henkin guides patients to the treatment that makes their daily life easier so that they can be as active as they like. Call the Tampa, Florida, office today or book your appointment online.

Spinal Stenosis Q & A

What is lumbar spinal stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis is when the spinal canal in your lower back becomes narrowed in diameter. Your spinal canal consists of a series of hollows in each vertebra (spinal bone), forming a long tunnel that houses and protects your spinal sac and nerve roots.

With lumbar spinal stenosis, the spinal canal in the lower back narrows and compresses the spinal cord or the nerves that link your spinal cord and muscles.

Lumbar spinal stenosis usually develops slowly as the spine changes with age. The spinal discs harden and can bulge, bone spurs can develop, and ligaments can thicken. These things can narrow the spinal canal and produce spinal stenosis symptoms.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is common: About one-fifth of Americans over 60 have signs of this problem on imaging tests. Spinal stenosis is the most common pathological diagnosis or condition that requires or justifies spinal surgery.

What does lumbar spinal stenosis feel like?

Lumbar spinal stenosis doesn’t cause symptoms for many people, but for others, it can lead to highly intrusive problems like:

  • Pain in the lower back, buttocks, or legs
  • Sciatica (radiating pain that moves down one leg)
  • Weakness in the lower back or legs
  • Numbness in the lower back or legs
  • Leg cramping
  • Foot numbness
  • Problems with leg motor function

Many people find that leaning forward (bending at the waist) provides temporary symptom respite. In severe cases, lumbar spinal stenosis can cause a loss of bladder or bowel function or a complete loss of leg movement.

How is lumbar spinal stenosis treated?

If you have symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis, Dr. Henkin focuses on relieving your pain and improving your quality of life. The first approach usually avoids surgery. The most common nonsurgical approach is physical therapy, which helps many people with milder symptoms.

If conservative treatments don’t produce results, Dr. Henkin can resort to minimally invasive spine surgery. Using incisions an inch or less long, Dr. Henkin can use microsurgical instruments to correct the issues causing your spinal stenosis.

Surgery can involve removing bone spurs, damaged discs, or pieces of bone, ultimately expanding the spinal canal and easing pressure on the spinal cord or nearby nerves. In many cases, Dr. Henkin uses the state-of-the-art StealthStation S8 surgical navigation system to operate with maximum precision.

If you suffer from back pain and need help from an expert, call the NeuroSpine Center today or book your appointment online.