<p><strong>What Is Spinal Stenosis?</strong></p>
<p>Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, the cavity within the vertebral column through which the spinal cord and nerves pass. Nerves leaving the spinal cord are called nerve roots; they pass through the vertebral column via small canals. Arthritic changes that cause overgrowth of vertebral bones may compress the spinal cord or the nerve roots, impairing sensation and muscle strength in the affected portion of the body. Most common among people in their 50s and 60s, spinal stenosis affects the lumbar (lower back) portion of the spine more than the cervical (neck) region. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and weakness in the neck, arms, lower back, and legs. As a result of leg weakness, people are prone to falls. Because the nerves controlling the bladder emerge from the lower spine, spinal stenosis may also cause urinary incontinence.</p>
Cervical spinal surgery is used to correct the part of the spine in the neck, including problems with the bones (vertebrae), disks, and nerves.
Cervical spinal surgery
The cervical spine is part of the spine that runs through the neck area. It consists of seven vertebrae and eight pairs of spinal nerves (called C1 to C8). The two most common problems people have with the cervical spine are herniation and stenosis.
For detailed information on those conditions see:
Herniated intervertebral disk
The specific cervical spine surgery depends on what is causing the problem. The surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free).
If there is a single herniated disk, then the disk may simply be removed through a surgical cut that is made in either the front or the back of the body.
If more than one disk needs to be removed, the sp...
Vertebral interbody fusion; Posterior spinal fusion; Arthrodesis; Anterior spinal fusion; Spine surgery - spinal fusion
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Katz JN, Harris MB. Clinical practice: lumbar spinal stenosis. N Engl J Med . 2008;358(8):818-825.
Chou R, Qaseem A, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med . 2007;147(7):478-491.
Hedequist DJ. Surgical treatment of congenital scoliosis. Orthop Clin North Am . 2007;38(4):497-509.
Curlee PM. Other disorders of the spine. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell 's Operative Orthopaedics . 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 41.
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