Spinal stenosis is a common cause of back pain as well as pain and numbness in your arms and legs. At Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports in Austin, Texas, Scott Spann, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopaedic spine surgeon, diagnoses and treats spinal stenosis with innovative medical and surgical procedures. Call Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports or schedule a consultation online today.
Spinal stenosis occurs when your spinal cord narrows. The condition often affects your neck or lower back, although it can develop anywhere in your spine.
A narrow spinal canal increases your risk of experiencing nerve compression, which can cause local pain as well as symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness in your feet, legs, hands, and arms. However, many patients can have spinal stenosis without any symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of spinal stenosis. When the cartilage that protects your vertebrae wears away, you might develop bone spurs that can protrude into your spinal canal. Paget’s disease also causes spinal bone spurs.
Herniated discs are another common cause of spinal stenosis. Your spinal discs consist of a rubbery outer shell that surrounds a soft, gel-like interior. As you age, your spinal discs become dry and weak. When a disc herniates, the interior bulges out of a weak spot or tear in the outer shell, and can reduce the space available in your spinal canal.
You might also develop spinal stenosis from thickened ligaments, tumors, or spinal injuries.
At Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sport, Dr. Spann diagnoses spinal stenosis using comprehensive exams and imaging studies like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. He begins by reviewing your medical history and symptoms. He asks about your lifestyle and any recent injuries that could contribute to your pain.
During your physical exam, he feels your spine for signs of inflammation or deformity and asks you to perform some gentle stretches. When necessary, he orders imaging studies to examine the structures of your spine and back in more detail.
Dr. Spann provides customized treatments to address the condition causing your spinal stenosis. When possible, he uses conservative treatments like physical therapy and spinal injections to heal your spine and reduce your pain.
Dr. Spann also offers spinal surgeries such as laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion to restore your back. He uses minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible to reduce the disruption to your life while also effectively repairing your spine.
If you’re concerned about spinal stenosis and are looking for an expert orthopaedic spine surgeon in Austin, call Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports or make an appointment online today.