Neurosurgery located in Midtown, Ventura, CA
Spinal stenosis is a common cause of progressive and persistent back pain. At Ventura Neurosurgery in Ventura, California, David Westra, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon, and Michael Dorsi, MD treat spinal stenosis with conservative and minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. Call or book an appointment online today for the highest-quality care of spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis Q&A
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. Any part of your spine may develop stenosis, but it’s most common in the lower back (lumbar spine).
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis usually develops slowly over the course of many years. Degenerative changes that occur with age are the most common causes of spinal stenosis.
Other conditions that can cause spinal stenosis include:
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis
- Degenerative scoliosis
- Conditions present at birth
- Bone tumors
- Paget’s disease
Degenerative changes in your spine can also cause ligaments to thicken and bone spurs to form, both of which may cause the spinal canal to become narrow.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis symptoms vary, depending on the part of your spine it affects. Lumbar spinal stenosis may cause pain, weakness, or numbness in your lower back, buttocks, or legs. The pain may radiate, similar to sciatica.
The pain and symptoms of spinal stenosis tend to get worse when you stand and walk for long periods. You may find relief when you sit in a chair.
How is spinal stenosis diagnosed?
First, the team at Ventura Neurosurgery carefully reviews your medical history and symptoms. They perform a physical exam and may take imaging tests, including:
- CT scan
A myelogram involves injecting dye into your cerebrospinal fluid to highlight your nerves and reveal any areas of compression.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
The team at Ventura Neurosurgery explores conservative treatments first. Non-surgical treatment for spinal stenosis may include:
- Physical therapy
- Weight management
- Stretching and exercise
- Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications
- Epidural steroid injections
If you experience severe back pain that impairs your quality of life and doesn’t resolve with conservative therapies, surgery may be necessary. The team at Ventura Neurosurgery performs various procedures to treat spinal stenosis, including spinal decompression techniques like laminectomy, extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF), and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF).
They use minimally invasive techniques when possible. Some cases of spinal stenosis may require open surgery.
To find relief from spinal stenosis, call Ventura Neurosurgery, or book an appointment online today.