Orin Atlas, MD, FAAOS
Orthopedic Surgeon & Spine Specialist located in Hainesport, NJ
Numbness, tingling, and pain in your neck, back, arms, and legs can be signs of spinal stenosis, a condition that leads to compression of your nerves and spinal cord. If you have these symptoms for more than a month or they’re getting worse, see orthopedic surgeon Orin Atlas, MD, FAAOS, at Atlas Spine. Located in Hainesport, New Jersey, Dr. Atlas provides personalized care and individual attention from the very start so you get the help you need. To schedule a visit, call the office or book online today.
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes the openings in the vertebrae around your nerves and spinal cord to narrow, leading to compression of nerves and your spinal cord.
This is commonly due to degenerative changes in the spine due to aging but can also be related to osteoporosis, arthritis, disc herniations, and spinal tumors.
Spinal stenosis is usually found in adults over the age of 50, although it can occur at earlier ages. Some cases of spinal stenosis may not cause any symptoms, but it’s common for symptoms to develop gradually over time as the space around your nerves and spinal cord gets smaller.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
Some spinal stenosis symptoms present as back and neck pain, but if the condition progresses it can cause:
- Aching pain in the neck, low back, buttocks, and thighs
- Pain that is worse when standing or walking
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Muscle weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Problems with bowel and bladder function
You typically find symptom relief by sitting or bending forward, which tends to lessen the pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.
How is spinal stenosis diagnosed?
Diagnosis of spinal stenosis involves a consultation, physical exam, and imaging studies like an MRI or CT scan. During your consultation, Dr. Atlas asks about your symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and what movements or activities make your symptoms better or worse.
For your exam, Dr. Atlas checks your range of motion, muscle strength, and nerve sensations. He may have you walk for a few minutes to check if your symptoms worsen.
He performs additional tests to check for signs of disc herniations that may be contributing to your pain. After your exam, he refers you to a local imaging center if an MRI or CT scan is needed.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
Dr. Atlas uses a variety of conservative and surgical approaches to address spinal stenosis symptoms, and he works with you to determine the best course for your care.
For mild to moderate cases, Dr. Atlas uses conservative treatments like activity modification and spinal injections to relieve pain on your nerves.
For more complex or severe cases, Dr. Atlas performs laminectomies. A laminectomy involves removing a small portion of bone that is compressing your nerves or spinal cord to relieve symptoms.
To discuss your symptoms and get help for spinal stenosis, call or schedule a visit online at Atlas Spine now.