Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal canal that may occur in any of the regions of the spine. This narrowing causes a restriction to the spinal canal, resulting in a neurological deficit. Symptoms include pain, numbness, paraesthesia, and loss of motor control.
The location of the stenosis determines which area of the body is affected.
[1] With spinal stenosis, the spinal canal is narrowed at the vertebral canal, which is a foramen between the vertebrae where the spinal cord (in the cervical or thoracic spine) or nerve roots (in the lumbar spine) pass through.
[2] There are several types of spinal stenosis, with lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis being the most frequent. While lumbar spinal stenosis is more common, cervical spinal stenosis is more dangerous because it involves compression of the spinal cord whereas the lumbar spinal stenosis involves compression of the cauda equina.

Spinal stenosis can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves within the spine. It commonly occurs in the neck and lower back. The condition is often caused by age-related wear and tear.
Symptoms, if they occur, include pain, numbness, muscle weakness and impaired bladder or bowel control.
Treatment includes medication, physiotherapy and possibly surgery.

Can you be paralyzed from spinal stenosis?
In spinal stenosis surgery may be required to prevent further damage to the cord itself and prevent paralysis. In the lower back, spinal stenosis symptoms may cause radiculopathy. This may result in pain in a leg with weakness, numbness and tingling.

Signs and symptoms of spinal stenosis

  • Numbness or tingling in a hand, arm, foot or leg.
  • Weakness in a hand, arm, foot or leg.
  • Problems with walking and balance.
  • Neck pain
    In severe cases, bowel or bladder dysfunction (urinary urgency and incontinence)