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What Causes Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal canal, is a condition in which the spinal cord is pressured by protruding tissue or bone. The spinal cord consists of 31 nerves that send messages throughout your body. Depending on where this cord is pinched, you may feel a variety of symptoms. Usually, the legs and lower back are affected the most, with pain increasing with prolonged leg activity.

As for what causes spinal stenosis, the factors can vary. Sometimes patients may be born with a narrowed spinal canal, but spinal stenosis arises most frequently as a result of aging. Seen more commonly in women than in men, spinal stenosis is most prevalent in those over 50. It is thought that genetic factors are among the causes of spinal stenosis. Aging causes the ligaments of the spine to calcify, meaning they grow thicker and tougher. In addition, arthritis may cause joints and bones to enlarge and osteophytes (bone spurs) to grow from existing vertabrae.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis Symptoms and How to Treat It
Spinal discs may also begin to deteriorate, causing discs to bulge into the spinal canal or resulting in ruptured discs. Spondylolisthesis, or disc slippage, can also be what causes spinal stenosis. All of these conditions can lead to narrowing of the spinal column as deteriorating or diseased material protrudes into the space through which the spinal cord travels.

At The Bonati Institute for Advanced Arthroscopic Surgery, a Decompressive Laminectomy is the most common procedure used to treat the causes and symptoms of spinal stenosis. To read about the procedure and its benefits, please visit the Bonati website at www.bonati.com.


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