If you visit the emergency room of your local hospital with pain that travels down a leg, you could be diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a condition that is characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal in one or more places. The spinal canal is an open space within the spine that houses the spinal cord. The physician at your community hospital can help you explore your treatment options.
Many people with spinal stenosis do not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they typically involve pain in the neck or lower back. The pain can travel down the leg. It may be accompanied by numbness or muscle weakness.
It is possible to be born with a narrowed spinal canal. In most patients; however, it is a condition that develops later in life. Spinal stenosis can be caused by spinal injuries, such as those sustained in car accidents. Other patients may develop spinal stenosis because of spinal tumors or thickened ligaments in the back region. Bone spurs may form on the vertebrae, which can reduce the space available in the spinal canal. This condition may also arise because of a herniated intervertebral disc.
Physicians and the staff at Largo Medical Center offer a wide range of treatment options for spinal stenosis, which can vary from conservative to invasive. For example, medications such as muscle relaxants and pain relievers can help relieve symptoms of mild spinal stenosis. Physical therapy can improve the stability and flexibility of the spine. Some patients may require steroid injections for more severe symptoms. If these treatments are insufficient to relieve symptoms, patients might consider undergoing surgery, sometimes including the use of your own adult stem cells to improve recovery.
The Florida Spine and Neuro Center at Largo Medical Center specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the spine, including spinal stenosis. Our hospital provides a wide range of healthcare services, including bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery, and emergency room care. Families throughout Pinellas County can call our free Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (727) 470-6826 with any questions they may have.