Bülent Yapicilar, MD
Neurosurgery & Cerebrovascular, Spinal, and Brain Tumor Neurosurgery located in Tyson Corner, Vienna, VA & Woodbridge, VA
As spinal stenosis compresses the nerves in your neck or lower back, your symptoms get progressively worse. Without treatment, the pain, tingling, and other problems can become debilitating. At Nova Neuroscience in Vienna and Woodbridge, Virginia, Bülent Yapicilar, MD, offers personalized care to each person, providing comprehensive treatment that alleviates your pain and helps you return to an active life. To get help for back or neck pain, call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online.
Spinal Stenosis Q & A
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis occurs when the space within your spinal canal narrows. The openings in the center of each vertebrae form the spinal canal, creating a protective passageway for your spinal cord.
The canal opening can narrow if you suffer an injury, but spinal stenosis is most often caused by degenerative conditions such as:
- Herniated discs
- Bone spurs
- Facet joint arthritis
- Thickened ligaments
- Degenerative disc disease
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis
These conditions narrow the spinal canal by protruding into the canal, causing misalignment in the vertebrae or destabilizing the spine. As a result, spinal stenosis develops, which leads to compressed, inflamed, and damaged nerves.
What symptoms develop due to spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis usually occurs in your lower back, also called the lumbar spine, or your neck, which is your cervical spine. You may experience symptoms such as:
- Neck or low back pain
- Pain that radiates down your arms or legs
- Tingling or numbness in your arms or legs
- Weakness or tiredness in your arms or legs
- Leg cramping when you walk or stand
- Spasticity in your arms or legs
- Difficulty with balance or coordination
Weakness, numbness, or spasticity may cause changes in your gait or lead to problems using your hands for fine tasks.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
The first line of treatment for spinal stenosis includes nonsurgical options such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and muscle relaxants. Should you need more pain relief, the next step is an epidural steroid injection or a nerve block.
If your symptoms fail to improve after about six weeks, Dr. Yapicilar talks with you about surgery to repair the underlying problem. He has extensive experience performing spine surgery, including minimally invasive procedures that reduce your postsurgical pain and speed up recovery.
The type of surgery you need depends on the cause of your spinal stenosis and may include the following:
If your spinal stenosis is caused by a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, Dr. Yapicilar may perform a discectomy to eliminate part or all of the disc.
Dr. Yapicilar performs several different procedures to decompress the spinal nerves, including laminectomy, foraminotomy, and laminotomy. These surgical interventions each remove a different part of the vertebrae, ligaments, or other tissues that are pinching the nerves.
Artificial disc replacement or spinal fusion
When Dr. Yapicilar removes a disc or part of a vertebra, your spine loses stability. To restore strength and stability, he implants an artificial disc or fuses the two vertebrae together.
If you have ongoing back or neck pain, call Nova Neuroscience or schedule an appointment online.