The most common reason to develop spinal stenosis is degenerative arthritis, or bony and soft tissue changes that result from ageing. Spinal stenosis is usually seen in patients over 50 years of age, and becomes progressively more severe with increased age. It can also occur with trauma or other conditions that compress the spinal nerves.The normal “wear and tear” of ageing can cause arthritis in the spine leads to the most common form of spinal stenosis. This can be from bone spurs (osteophytes) forming, bulging and wear of the intervertebral discs, and thickening of the ligaments between the vertebrae.
Sometimes, increased motion between the vertebrae can cause one vertebra to slip forward on another. This is called spondylolisthesis, and it can also cause spinal stenosis.
Not everyone develops spinal stenosis as they become older. Certain people are more likely to develop spinal stenosis than others. People that have a family history of spinal stenosis or other back problems are at an increased risk of developing spinal stenosis because of a genetic trait. Also, people that subject their backs to greater demands sare also at an increased risk to develop spinal stenosis than someone with a more sedentary job. Spinal stenosis may also occur in people with certain connective tissue diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis.
The common symptoms include pain referring into the legs when walking but resolves on sitting. The symptoms may sometimes be similar to sciatica although it usually is much more subtle.
Our treatments are based on minimally invasive approaches. Quite often a day case procedure is all that is required to treat the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Procedures such as Interspinous spacers, Spinal Injections, Laser disc surgery can be very effective.