By the age of 50, a whopping 95% of people experience some degree of degenerative changes in their spine, sometimes resulting in spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of your spinal canal. At Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates, the doctor and his team of highly trained orthopedic specialists help restore pain-free movement to their patients in Independence, Ohio, who are suffering from spinal stenosis. If you want to explore your treatment options for spinal stenosis, call or use the online scheduling tool.

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What is spinal stenosis?

Before getting into what spinal stenosis is, it’s helpful to step back and take a look at the anatomy of your spine. At the heart of this structure are 33 vertebrae that are divided by 23 discs, which provide cushioning in between the vertebral bones. These vertebrae are not only critical to the foundational support of your entire musculoskeletal system, but they also provide passage for your nervous system through the spinal canal.

When this passageway begins to narrow, nerve roots in the area can become irritated, causing moderate to severe pain. Spinal stenosis largely occurs in the areas where your spine is most active, namely your lumbar spine, or low back. Spinal stenosis can also occur in your neck, or cervical spine.

What causes spinal stenosis?

The primary causes of spinal stenosis are:

  • Degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis
  • Herniated discs
  • Injuries or fractures
  • Thickened ligaments

In rare cases, tumors can also lead to spinal stenosis.

What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?

Many people live with spinal stenosis without ever knowing they have the condition. For those who do, it’s because the stenosis has irritated a nerve root in the area, causing pain that may be localized or radiate to your extremities — your arms or legs, depending upon the location. In addition to the pain, you may experience numbness and tingling, as well as weakness.

If you start to feel these symptoms, it’s important that you get in to see Dr. Keppler, as stenosis is progressive and your side effects may worsen if left untreated.

How is spinal stenosis treated?

After running a thorough diagnostic exam, including advanced imaging, Dr. Keppler comes up with a treatment plan that best suits your situation and your goals. This may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory and/or pain medications
  • Corticosteroid injections

If your symptoms persist, Dr. Keppler discusses possible surgical solutions with you, which may include a laminectomy to remove troublesome bone and ligament material, or a spinal fusion that limits movement between vertebrae.

The bottom line is that Dr. Keppler has the tools necessary to help you find relief from your spinal stenosis. Call to get started on a treatment plan or use the online scheduling tool to set up a consultation.