Spinal stenosis most commonly develops as you get older due to degenerative changes in your spine. While noninvasive treatments are available, many patients don’t find long-lasting relief until they undergo surgery to repair the spinal canal. David Newell, MD has extensive experience performing minimally invasive procedures that effectively treat spinal stenosis. If you have questions about back pain or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call Dr. Newell’s Seattle office in Washington or use the online booking feature.
Each vertebra in your spine has an opening in the center, creating a canal that surrounds and protects your spinal cord. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of this spinal canal. It may occur in your neck, where it’s called cervical spinal stenosis, or in your lower back, called lumbar spinal stenosis.
Although a small number of patients are born with spinal stenosis, it’s typically caused by degenerative conditions that develop over time, such as:
These conditions protrude into the canal, which narrows the space that’s usually reserved for your spinal nerves.
You’ll begin to experience symptoms when the narrowed canal compresses the nerves. The pressure and resulting inflammation can lead to symptoms such as:
Without treatment, the symptoms gradually worsen over time. In severe cases of lumbar spinal stenosis, you may lose bowel or bladder control.
The first line of treatment typically consists of oral medication or epidural injections to reduce your inflammation and alleviate pain. Dr. Newell may also prescribe physical therapy to reduce inflammation and improve your range of motion.
You may be a good candidate for surgery to alleviate your symptoms when:
In these instances, Dr. Newell evaluates your overall health to be sure you can safely undergo surgery.
Dr. Newell specializes in several types of surgery that effectively treat spinal stenosis by decompressing the nerves, including:
Dr. Newell performs minimally invasive spine surgery, which uses specialized tools inserted through very small incisions. When you have minimally invasive surgery, your risk of infection is lower, you have less postoperative pain, and your recovery time is shorter.
If you’re experiencing pain in your back, neck, or extremities, call David Newell, MD or book an appointment online.