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Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition can be painful and limit your ability to perform normal daily activities.

Fortunately, treatment can help. The team at Twin Cities Spine Center (TC Spine) has the expertise to diagnose spinal stenosis and to prescribe the right nonsurgical treatments to help the condition. In cases where surgery is needed, we have the expertise and experience to perform the procedure safely and effectively.

Spinal Stenosis Causes

In most cases, spinal stenosis develops as a person ages and the spine is damaged or changed by conditions like arthritis.

Other possible causes of spinal stenosis include spondylolisthesis, injuries and spinal tumors. In rare cases, spinal stenosis can be present at birth.

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

When the spinal canal becomes narrowed, the nerves which pass through can be compressed. This may cause them to become inflamed, which can cause symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the low back.
  • Pain in one or both legs. This pain may occur after walking and standing but go away after rest.
  • A feeling of coldness, weakness, numbness or cramping in the legs.

Spinal stenosis symptoms may come on slowly over time or happen suddenly.

If you have symptoms of spinal stenosis, the experts at TC Spine can help. Our specialists will review your symptoms; conduct a physical exam; and may perform tests such as an MRI, CT (or CT myelogram) scan or EMG to confirm a diagnosis.

Spinal Stenosis Treatment

The right treatment of spinal stenosis depends on the number of vertebrae involved, the amount of pain and the condition of the patient's general health.

At TC Spine, we recommend nonsurgical treatments for spinal stenosis first. These may include use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, spine education programs, rest and the application of ice. Epidural steroid injections into the epidural space of the spine may reduce inflammation and pain.

In cases where surgery is necessary, one of our experienced spine surgeons will explain your options to you and answer your questions. Often, decompression surgery is used to treat spinal stenosis. This surgery removes the bone that's compressing the spinal cord or nerves, allowing them to move freely. If this bone removal makes the spine less stable, a spinal fusion may be done at the same time to stabilize the area.