Cervical Stenosis

Cervical Stenosis

Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition where there is narrowing of the spinal canal and/or foramen in your cervical spine or neck. This narrowing can cause pressure to be put onto the spinal cord and/or nerve roots causing symptoms. Those who experience symptoms from this condition may find that they become worse as time goes on.

The spinal canal is the tunnel (formed by your vertebrae, discs and laminae) through which the spinal cord (bundle of nerves) runs through. Spinal nerve roots branch off from the spinal cord and exit through openings on each side of the spinal canal.

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Cervical spinal stenosis is most prevalent among those who are over the age of 50. As we get older, the normal aging process causes changes in the shape and size of the spinal canal.  As the spinal canal in your neck narrows, this may cause pressure on your spinal cord and/or nerve roots. This pressure or compression can lead to pain, numbness/tingling, or dysfunction in your arms or legs.

What causes cervical spinal stenosis?

The most common cause of cervical spinal stenosis stems from the wear-and-tear the spine undergoes as a result of osteoarthritis. This can lead to excessive growth of bone at joints and thickening of ligaments causing narrowing of the spinal canal which sometimes results in increased pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. Other causes of cervical spinal stenosis include: 

  • Herniated discs
  • Tumors
  • Instability
  • Trauma

Symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis

Not everyone who has cervical spinal stenosis will present with symptoms. For those who do, their symptoms usually begin quite gradually and get worse as time continues. Some of the main symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis include: 

  • A tingling sensation or numbness in your hands or arms
  • Weakness or decreased strength in one of your hands or arms
  • Difficulties with performing tasks with your hands which require fine motor skills
  • Issues with walking or balancing
  • Pain in your neck 
  • Bladder or bowel impairment/dysfunction (only in severe cases)

Frequently Asked Questions

Cervical spinal stenosis is diagnosed through reviewing your medical history, a physical exam and MRI.

Usually surgical treatment is required.

It is largely dependent on the type of surgery that is required but may be as early as 2 to 4 weeks.

Receive the care you need right away

Horizon Surgical can expedite your minimally invasive spine surgery to be done in a timely fashion. From beginning to end, you can typically receive your minimally invasive spine surgery within a couple months. With our reduced recovery times, you’ll be able to get back to living your life and doing what you love most right away.

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