Spinal Stenosis Specialist

Douglas J. Abeles M.D. & Associates

Orthopaedic Surgeons & Sports & Spine Surgery located in Castro Valley, CA

Spinal stenosis typically affects the neck or lower back, although for some, it produces no symptoms. If you’re one of those who does have pain, numbness, or tingling, you know how debilitating stenosis can be. Dr. Douglas Abeles of Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates in Castro Valley, California, is your ideal choice for diagnosis and treatment to relieve the effects of spinal stenosis. Call the office or go online to schedule an appointment today.

Spinal Stenosis Q & A

What is spinal stenosis?

The nerves of the spinal column travel through a channel in the middle of your spine and branch off through spaces between vertebrae, allowing communication between the brain and all parts of your body.

Stenosis refers to a narrowing of that space. In some cases, you may be born with a narrow canal, and this becomes more of an issue as time passes. Osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear version of the condition, can cause bone spurs that reduce clearance in the spinal column. Spinal injuries and tumors also may cause stenosis, as can spinal disk herniation and thickened ligaments.

Unless symptoms develop, spinal stenosis is not a problem. It’s only when the reduced space affects the nerves that treatment may be necessary.

What symptoms does spinal stenosis create?

Spinal stenosis symptoms typically occur gradually and get worse over time. Symptoms depend on where in the spine the stenosis occurs and which nerves are compressed.

Cervical stenosis occurs in the neck, and its associated symptoms may include:

  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities: arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Weakness in the extremities
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction, such as urinary urgency and incontinence

Lumbar stenosis originates in the lower back. Its symptoms include:

  • Back pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet
  • Weakness in the legs or feet
  • Leg cramps after long periods of walking or standing that is usually relieved by bending forward or sitting

How is spinal stenosis treated?

Treatment depends on the origin of the stenosis. For instance, problems relating to disk herniation may vanish as the herniation heals itself over a period of months. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers may be adequate to manage symptoms as the herniation recovers.

A number of surgical techniques are available if more conservative treatment fails or if you are debilitated by your stenosis symptoms. Most procedures seek to ease nerve compression, reducing irritation and the accompanying symptoms.

Dr. Abeles is well-versed in both conventional and minimally invasive endoscopic techniques, making him an ideal choice to treat your spinal stenosis condition.

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