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Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Cervical Spinal Stenosis


Spinal stenosis is narrowing in the spine that can be in the central canal, where the spinal cord is located, or where the nerve roots exit from the spinal cord, the neuroforamen. This is most commonly due to degenerative changes such as disc bulges or enlargement of the facet joints from arthritis, bone spurs, thickened ligamentum flavum (ligament that runs in between the vertebrae and spinal cord providing strength to the spine). Symptoms can include pain and/or numbness in the neck with possible radiation into the arms, weakness, numbness, and if severe enough, can cause bladder and bowel difficulty. The pain is worse with activity such as working with the upper extremities, driving, or working over a desk or computer. Treatment options include oral steroids, anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen or Naproxen, anti-seizure medications, pain medications, physical therapy, and epidural steroid injections. In some patients, surgery to open the space is necessary or indicated.