Cervical Spinal Stenosis in Beverly Hills
Spinal stenosis is a disorder involving the narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal houses the spinal cord and nerve roots, and narrowing of this passage can cause compression and irritation of these structures.
Causes of Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Any condition or disease process that takes up space or causes narrowing of the spinal canal can cause spinal stenosis. Some conditions are present at birth or due to developmental abnormalities and may present earlier in life.
Other causes of spinal stenosis are acquired and are either due to trauma, degeneration (wear and tear), disease, or a combination of these. Some of the contributing conditions may include:
- Compression fractures
- Cervical disc herniation (see Cervical Discogenic Pain or Cervical Radiculopathy)
- Cervical spondylosis with hypertrophy (see Cervical Facet Syndrome)
- Spondylolisthesis (slippage of a vertebrae)
- Ligamentum flavum hypertrophy (Thickening of a ligament in the spine)
- Tumor or neoplasm
Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Stenosis
- Neck pain
- Upper back and/or shoulder pain
- Numbness and/or tingling in the arms
- Weakness in the arms
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
- Difficulty controlling bowel or bladder function
Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Spinal Stenosis
The doctor will start by taking a detailed history and performing a thorough physical exam of the spine. Various diagnostic testing such as X-ray, MRI, or CT scans may be utilized to gain a better understanding of the location and severity of the problem.
Treatment of cervical spinal stenosis often starts with conservative measures such as therapy, a home exercise program, bracing and/or medications. In some cases, a therapeutic injection (epidural) may be recommended to help ease the pain. In more severe cases, surgical decompression may be recommended. The doctor will also rule out other conditions such as Cervical Facet Syndrome, Cervical Discogenic Pain, or Cervical Radiculopathy that can produce similar symptoms.