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Spinal stenosis is a condition that develops when some of the spaces within the spinal column become narrowed, causing a great deal of pain and difficulty in movement. At the Institute of Orthopedics, Spine, & Sports located in Clifton, NJ, the practice is aimed at the non-operative management of patients, focusing on injections as the method of choice to provide relief and enhance the patient’s well-being.

Our staff of skilled and trained specialists appreciate clients’ needs to get the best treatment through proper technique, quality equipment, and experienced personnel. You can get in touch with us today at (973)-922-9515, to book an appointment and to receive the care and attention that you need.

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This narrowing can result from various factors, including:

  • Age-related Degeneration: The most common cause of spinal stenosis is wear and tear associated with aging. Over time, the ligaments in the spine can thicken, and bones and joints may enlarge due to arthritis. This natural degeneration process leads to the narrowing of the spinal canal, compressing the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Herniated Discs: Discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae can dry out and crack with age. The inner gel-like substance can then leak out, pressing on the spinal cord or nerves. Herniated discs are a significant cause of spinal stenosis, especially in the lumbar region, causing lower back pain and leg pain.
  • Bone Spurs: Osteoarthritis can lead to the formation of bone spurs, which can protrude into the spinal canal and compress nerves. Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are bony projections that develop along the edges of bones, contributing to the narrowing of the spinal canal.
  • Spinal Injuries: Traumatic injuries such as fractures or dislocations can damage the vertebrae and the spinal canal, leading to spinal stenosis. Spinal injuries can cause immediate narrowing of the spinal canal or lead to long-term degeneration and stenosis.
  • Genetic Conditions: Some individuals may be born with a naturally narrow spinal canal or conditions such as scoliosis that can lead to spinal stenosis. Genetic predispositions and congenital conditions can contribute to the early development of spinal stenosis, even in younger individuals.
Get effective spinal stenosis treatment in Clifton, NJ at the Institute of Orthopedics, Spine, & Sports. Call (973)-922-9515 to schedule an appointment.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis vary depending on the location and severity of the narrowing. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain: Chronic pain in the neck or lower back is a hallmark symptom of spinal stenosis. The pain may radiate down the arms or legs, depending on the location of the stenosis. Pain is often aggravated by activities such as walking or standing for extended periods and may be relieved by sitting or bending forward.
  • Numbness and Tingling: Patients often experience numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” sensation in the extremities. These sensations are due to the compression of the spinal nerves, which affects normal sensory functions.
  • Weakness: Muscle weakness, particularly in the legs, can occur, making it difficult to walk or perform daily activities. Weakness may be more pronounced in one limb or may affect both sides of the body, depending on the severity and location of the stenosis.
  • Balance Issues: Difficulty maintaining balance and coordination is common in individuals with spinal stenosis. This symptom increases the risk of falls and injuries, particularly in older adults.
  • Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction: Severe cases of spinal stenosis may affect bladder and bowel control, necessitating immediate medical attention. These symptoms indicate significant nerve compression and require urgent evaluation and treatment.

Accurate diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. At the Institute of Orthopedics, Spine, & Sports, we utilize a combination of patient history, physical examinations, and advanced imaging techniques to diagnose spinal stenosis. The diagnostic process includes:

Understanding the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle helps in identifying potential causes and risk factors. A detailed medical history provides insights into the onset, duration, and progression of symptoms, as well as any previous injuries or medical conditions.

A thorough physical exam assesses the patient’s range of motion, reflexes, muscle strength, and neurological function. During the examination, the healthcare provider will check for signs of nerve compression, such as decreased sensation, muscle weakness, and abnormal reflexes.

  • X-rays: Provide detailed images of the spine to detect bone abnormalities, bone spurs, and the degree of spinal canal narrowing. X-rays can also reveal changes in the alignment of the spine and the presence of degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Offers detailed cross-sectional images of the spine, showing soft tissues, including discs, muscles, and nerves. MRI is particularly useful for visualizing the extent of nerve compression and identifying herniated discs, ligament thickening, and other soft tissue abnormalities.
  • CT scans: Useful in providing detailed images of the spine, particularly when used with a myelogram, which involves injecting a contrast dye to highlight the spinal canal. CT scans with myelography can provide precise information about the bony structures and the degree of spinal canal narrowing, helping to identify the exact location and severity of stenosis.

Injection therapies are a cornerstone of our non-surgical treatment approach for spinal stenosis. These treatments aim to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve function. Here are the primary injection therapies we offer:

Epidural steroid injections are a widely used treatment for spinal stenosis. This procedure involves injecting a corticosteroid and an anesthetic into the epidural space around the spinal cord. Corticosteroid works to reduce inflammation, while anesthetic provides immediate pain relief. The key benefits of ESIs include reduced inflammation, as corticosteroids help decrease swelling and inflammation around the affected nerves. Patients often experience significant pain relief, allowing them to engage in physical activities and rehabilitation. Additionally, by alleviating pain, ESIs can enhance mobility and overall quality of life, making them an effective option for managing spinal stenosis symptoms.

Facet joints are small joints located between each vertebra, providing stability and flexibility to the spine. Facet joint injections involve injecting a combination of a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic into the facet joints to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The benefits of facet joint injections include targeted pain relief, as the injections are directed precisely to the affected joints, providing specific and effective pain relief. Moreover, by reducing pain and inflammation, facet joint injections can improve spinal function and range of motion, helping patients regain their mobility and perform daily activities more comfortably.

Nerve root blocks are used to diagnose and treat pain originating from specific nerve roots. This procedure involves injecting an anesthetic and a corticosteroid around the affected nerve root to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. One of the key advantages of nerve root blocks is their diagnostic utility; they can help identify the specific nerve causing pain, which can guide further treatment. Additionally, the injections provide significant pain relief, often lasting for several months. By targeting the nerve root directly, nerve root blocks offer precise and effective management of pain associated with spinal stenosis.

Selective nerve root injections are similar to nerve root blocks but are specifically targeted to individual nerve roots. These injections are highly effective in relieving pain and reducing inflammation caused by spinal stenosis. The primary benefits of selective nerve root injections include precision, as the targeted approach ensures that the medication reaches the exact location of the nerve irritation. This targeted delivery maximizes the effectiveness of the treatment. Additionally, patients often experience long-lasting pain relief, which significantly improves their ability to participate in daily activities and enhances their overall quality of life.

The sacroiliac joints connect the lower spine to the pelvis, and inflammation or dysfunction in these joints can contribute to lower back pain associated with spinal stenosis. SI joint injections involve injecting a corticosteroid and an anesthetic into the SI joint to reduce pain and inflammation. The benefits of SI joint injections include significant pain relief in the lower back and pelvic region, providing targeted and effective treatment for discomfort caused by spinal stenosis. By reducing pain, SI joint injections can also enhance mobility and overall quality of life, allowing patients to move more freely and comfortably.

Spinal stenosis can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, but with the right treatment, relief is possible. At the Institute of Orthopedics, Spine, & Sports in Clifton, NJ, we specialize in non-surgical injection therapies designed to reduce pain, improve function, and enhance overall well-being. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing personalized care tailored to each patient’s unique needs. If you are experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis, contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a pain-free life.