Spinal Stenosis

Manhattan Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Midtown West, New York, NY & Astoria, NY

Even if you’ve dealt with spinal stenosis and radiating pain for many years, you’ll be pleased to know there are innovative solutions available at Manhattan Orthopedics, located in Midtown Manhattan near Central Park in Columbus Circle. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon and spine surgery specialist Vikas V. Varma, MD, has extensive experience treating spinal stenosis with various innovative treatment options, from nerve blocks and lifestyle changes to minimally invasive surgical intervention. Dr. Varma can help you decide the right path to enhance your health, wellness, and physical functioning. Call our office or schedule a consultation online today.

Spinal Stenosis Q & A

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spaces within your spine. This can put pressure on the nerves traveling through your spine. Most commonly, spinal stenosis develops in the lower back and neck.

What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?

Symptoms of spinal stenosis include tingling, numbness, pain, and muscle weakness in the legs, arms, neck, and back, as well as problems with walking and balance. 

You might have pain or cramping in one or both legs. In more severe cases, you might have bladder or bowel dysfunction. However, you might not experience any symptoms of spinal stenosis. 

What causes spinal stenosis?

Some people are born with a smaller spinal canal. Most spinal stenosis is the result of something narrowing the open space within the spine or wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis.

Spinal stenosis might be caused by:

  • Herniated disks
  • Bone growth and bone spurs growing on the spinal canal
  • Thickened ligaments that bulge into the spinal canal
  • Abnormal growths or tumors that form inside the spinal cord
  • Spinal injuries that cause dislocations or fractures of one or more vertebrae

More severe cases of spinal stenosis lead to permanent numbness, weakness, balance problems, incontinence, and paralysis.

How is spinal stenosis treated?

The right treatment for your spinal stenosis depends on the location, severity, and symptoms. Dr. Varma might suggest a number of treatments for your spinal stenosis, such as:

  • Pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks
  • Physical therapy
  • Healthy lifestyle changes, such as nutritional counseling
  • Surgery, when necessary

Surgical options

Dr. Varma offers a full spectrum of effective surgical options for spinal stenosis, including minimally invasive laminectomy without fusion and minimally invasive fusion surgery. 

A laminectomy removes the back part (lamina) of your affected vertebrae. It’s often called a decompression surgery because it eases the pressure on your nerves and creates more space around them.

In some cases, fusion laminectomy is necessary to link the adjoining vertebrae with metal hardware and a bone graft to maintain strength and stability in your spine. 

The minimally invasive approach to surgery removes lamina or bone in a way that decreases damage to nearby healthy tissue and results in less need to perform spinal fusions. 

For example, Dr. Varma can carefully use special needle-like instruments to remove a portion of thickened ligament in the back of the spinal column to increase the space in your spinal canal and remove any nerve impingement.

From nonoperative care to surgical intervention, Dr. Varma is here to help you feel and function better. Call Manhattan Orthopedics or schedule an appointment online today.