The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas
Orthopedic Surgeon location in Pearland & Lake Jackson, TX
As an important network of nerves, spinal vertebrae, and muscles, your neck is prone to problems from aging or injury. If you have numbness, pain, or limited range of motion, you might have cervical stenosis, a condition that causes the empty spaces in the spinal column to narrow. For expert treatment, visit Dr. Thomas Jones II in Pearland, Houston, and Lake Jackson, Texas. At The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas, Dr. Jones can give you a full assessment and recommend a minimally invasive treatment plan. Call to get started or click to book an appointment online today.
Cervical Stenosis Q & A
What causes cervical stenosis?
When there is a problem with the cervical spine, it can lead to severe neck, shoulder, and arm pain. Cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within the spine. As these gaps narrow, they exert pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, which affects other parts of the body.
While some people experience congenital spinal stenosis, meaning they were born with a small spinal canal, the condition more commonly develops due to age-related degeneration. If you’re not born with it, it typically affects you after the age of 50.
Specific causes of cervical stenosis may include:
- Osteoarthritis (causes degeneration of joint cartilage and underlying bones)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease that leads to joint inflammation)
- Spinal tumors (these exert pressure on the nerves)
- Paget’s disease (a condition that can cause fragile, misshapen bones)
In some cases, cervical stenosis also develops due to injury or trauma.
What are the symptoms of cervical stenosis?
Most people with cervical stenosis experience pain in the neck region, which may radiate down to the shoulder, into the arms, and even the fingers.
In severe cases, you might have trouble maintaining your balance while standing and walking, and experience problems with your feet, bowel, or bladder.
Gravity aggravates the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, so sitting or leaning over often provides some relief.
What is the treatment for cervical stenosis?
Dr. Jones reviews your medical history and conducts a physical exam, as well as imaging tests like X-rays, an MRI, or bone scan.
If he confirms you’re suffering from cervical stenosis, he creates a treatment plan that will usually involve seeing a range of different specialists, such as a physical therapist, a neurologist, and a general practitioner.
In some instances, cervical stenosis is treatable without surgery. Your plan might include:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Chiropractic treatment
- Pain medication
While non-surgical treatments temporarily relieve pain, they don’t always reverse cervical stenosis. In these cases, Dr. Jones might recommend a minimally invasive discectomy, which removes the damaged parts of a disc or discs and relieves pressure on the nerves in the neck.
In more advanced cases, Dr. Jones may recommend a spinal fusion surgery to connect two or more vertebrae, which better supports the spine.
If you’re experiencing neck pain, call Dr. Jones about treatment for cervical stenosis, or click to book a consultation online now.