Internationally respected neurosurgeon and founder of The Spine Center, Charles S. Theofilos, is recognized by his patients and peers for providing state-of-the-art cervical and spinal treatments. His approach to spine health involves a combination of prevention and innovative surgical, minimally invasive and non-surgical treatments. As a leading spine surgeon, Dr. Theofilos has an exceptional reputation in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Palm Beach Gardens, in South Florida and internationally.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of spaces in the spine, which causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. About 75% of cases occur in the lower back area (lumbar spine). In most cases, the narrowing of the spine associated with stenosis compresses the nerve root, which can cause pain along the back of the leg.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
There are many potential causes for spinal stenosis, including:
- Aging: With age, the body’s ligaments can thicken. Spurs (small growths) may develop on the bones and into the spinal canal. The cushioning disks between the vertebrae may begin to deteriorate. The facet joints (flat surfaces on each vertebra) also may begin to break down.
- Arthritis: Two forms of arthritis that may affect the spine are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Spondylolisthesis (Instability of the spine): When one vertebra slips forward on another, that can narrow the spinal canal.
- Heredity: If the spinal canal is too small at birth, symptoms of spinal stenosis may show up in a relatively young person.
- Tumors of the spine: Abnormal growths of soft tissue may affect the spinal canal directly by causing inflammation or by growth of tissue into the canal. Tissue growth may lead to bone resorption (bone loss due to over-activity of certain bone cells) or displacement of bone and the eventual collapse of the supporting framework of the spinal column.
- Trauma: Accidents and injuries may either dislocate the spine and the spinal canal or cause burst fractures, producing fragments of bone that penetrate the canal.
- Herniated Discs: May take up space in the spinal canal causing narrowing. This is also another form of spinal stenosis.
What are Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis?
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for relief.
- Cortisone injections placed directly into the spinal column to provide short-term relief.
- Exercise and physical therapy focusing on strengthening the back and abdominal muscles.
If the above treatment options do not ease the pain, you should consider spine surgery.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatment:
The goal of spinal stenosis surgery is to permanently decompress the spinal canal. Types of minimally invasive spine surgery include:
- Laminectomy: The most common type of surgery for this condition, laminectomy involves the removal of the lamina, a portion of the vertebra, to make room for the nerves. Some ligaments and bone spurs may also be removed. The surgery requires making an incision into the back.
- Foraminotomy: The foramen is the area in the vertebrae where the nerve roots exit. The procedure involves expanding this area to provide more space for the nerve roots.
- Spinal Fusion: This procedure is done in cases of instability and involves joining the bones together with screws or bone grafts to provide spinal stability. It may be combined with laminectomy surgery. The surgery lasts several hours and can be done using one of two methods. Bone is removed from elsewhere in the body or obtained from a bone bank. This bone is used to create a bridge between vertebrae and stimulates the growth of new bone. Metal implants are secured to the vertebrae to hold them together until new bone grows between them.
After minimally invasive spine surgery, a prescription of walking and strengthening exercises for the lower back and abdomen will help stabilize the spine. The benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery includes faster recovery time, less pain, earlier mobilization, shorter hospital stay, less blood loss during surgery and a lower infection rate when compared to open spine surgery.
What Happens During a Spinal Stenosis Consultation in West Palm Beach, FL?
Dr. Theofilos will confirm your diagnosis of spinal stenosis and recommend treatment options. For your convenience, we discuss cost information after the appointment, including financing through LendingUSA®.
Leg pain caused by a narrowing of the spaces in the spine requires advanced treatments to optimize patient outcomes. World-renowned neurosurgeon and founder of The Spine Center, Charles S. Theofilos, MD, is recognized as an international leader in spinal stenosis surgery. Patients from West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Palm Beach Gardens and other areas in Florida, as well as men and women from countries around the world, rely on his expertise for spinal stenosis surgery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or complimentary MRI review with Dr. Theofilos.
Request An Appointment
Pain relief starts with an accurate diagnosis.
*Disclaimer: Results will vary by person and are based upon the patient, the procedure, and the compliance with the aftercare program. The content of this website is intended to be general information. It is provided only as a service. It is not medical advice and not intended to be taken as medical advice. The content of this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a medical or health condition and is in no way meant to be a substitute for or delay the seeking of appropriate or professional medical care. Individual results may vary.