Canal stenosis is the narrowing of the central spinal canal, which is the canal through which the nerves travel from the spine to the rest of the body. If the space within the spinal canal begins to narrow, the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root within the canal can become pinched or compressed, resulting in severe pain and other symptoms, such as numbness, weakness and tingling.
In cases of mild spinal canal stenosis, symptoms may be minimal or not felt at all. However, it is important to find treatment, as spinal stenosis can be a progressive degenerative condition that worsens over time.
Causes of spinal canal stenosis
The most common cause of spinal canal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition. These conditions can cause spinal anatomy to move into the space of the spinal canal and cause the nerve passageway to narrow. Most of these degenerative spine conditions are related to the natural aging process of the spine. One common condition that causes spinal canal stenosis is the gradual thickening of the spinal ligaments, including the largest ligament in the spine, the ligamentum flavum.
Other conditions that can produce mild canal stenosis include:
- Spinal arthritis
- Herniated disc
- Bulging disc
- Spinal tumors
- Congenital defects
- Paget’s disease, a condition causing abnormal bone destruction and regrowth
- Kyphosis or lordosis associated with dwarfism
Minimally invasive treatment for spinal stenosis
While many cases of mild canal stenosis can be managed effectively using conservative treatment, like physical therapy or pain medicine, cases of severe canal stenosis may require surgery.
If you have been recommended to have spine surgery for your canal stenosis, we encourage you to research the minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. Our outpatient procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery, allowing our patients to experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication. Learn more about the benefits of our procedures today by contacting USA Spine Care.
We can help you receive a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.