Leg Pain Symptoms that Indicate you need to Consult a Spine Doctor

As the human body ages, there are high chances of experiencing mobility problems, neck, and back pain that prevent you from enjoying a comfortable daily life. Whether you experience neck and back pain after lifting heavy objects, sleeping on hard surfaces, sitting in the chair for many hours, or bad postures, ultimately, you need to establish if the discomfort arises from lumbar spinal stenosis.

What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a common disorder that usually affects the neck, back, arms, and legs when the open spaces in your spinal canal begins to narrow. The narrowing of the cervical spine, or lumbar bones can put pressure on your spinal cord. Consequently, the spinal nerves will experience challenges.

How does Spinal Stenosis occur?
The narrowing of spinal spaces could take place in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar regions but more commonly in the lumbar region. It is a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by disc herniation’s, injuries to the spine, changes in the spine related to age, or tumors which can cause pain, numbness or weakness in the legs.

When you experience numbness and pain in the legs, it is likely you suffer from spinal stenosis. A spinal specialist will want to find out if you experience any of the symptoms below:
+ Back pain.
+ Difficulties balancing the body while standing, bending, or walking
+ Leg cramps when you stand for long periods.
+ Numbness, tingling or burning sensation in the legs, lower back area, or buttocks.
+ Stiff thighs or legs.
+ Bladder issues or bowel dysfunction.
+ Weakness in the neck, clumsy hands

The Cure for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Leg Pain
Leaning forward and flexing the lower body part forward can temporarily relieve your painful symptoms by opening up your spinal canal.

If you have failed medications such as anti-inflammatories, or physical therapy has been ineffective, your doctor can also recommend an epidural steroid injections (ESI). If the conservative route does not alleviate your pain, there is a surgical procedure to open up your spine to offer a permanent cure for spinal stenosis. The most common type of surgery for spinal stenosis is called decompressive laminectomy, also known as spinal laminectomy or spinal decompression. This surgery is done to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve roots. During a laminectomy, the bony walls of the vertebrae, bone spurs or thick tissue, causing narrowing of the canal that allows compression of the spinal nerves are removed. This procedure is done to open the spinal canal and remove the pressure of the nerves.

Decompressive Laminectomy

Decompressive laminectomy, also known as spinal laminectomy and spinal decompression is the most common type of surgery done to treat lumbar (low back) spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by age-related changes in the spine, injuries to the spine, herniated discs or tumors that may cause pain, numbness or weakness in the legs. This surgery is done to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve roots. In many cases, reducing pressure on the nerve roots can relieve pain and allow you to resume normal daily activities. During the Laminectomy, the lamina or bony walls of the vertebrae are removed, along with any bone spurs and/or thickened tissue that is narrowing the spinal canal and squeezing the spinal nerve roots. The aim of the procedure is to open up the spinal column to remove pressure on the nerves.

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis:
+ Back pain
+ Difficulties balancing the body while standing, bending, or walking
+ Weakness in the feet, legs or buttocks
+ Leg cramps when you stand for long periods
+ Numbness, tingling or burning sensation in the legs, lower back area or buttocks
+ Stiff thighs or legs
+ Bladder issues or bower dysfunction
+ Weakness in the neck, clumsy hands

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious but rare complication of a ruptured disc. It occurs when disc material is pushed into the spinal canal and compresses the bundle of lumbar and sacral nerve roots, causing loss of bladder and bowel control. Permanent neurological damage may result if this syndrome is left untreated.

3 New Back Surgery Technologies To Relieve Your Pain

Sometimes, even the worst spinal pain can make us hesitant to visit a spine doctor, but those horror stories are a thing of the past. New technologies have made procedures increasingly safer and more helpful. Utilizing technology to advance precision and technique, millions of people are finding unexpected relief from undergoing these three procedures.

1. Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement – Cervical discs can begin to press on the nerves of the spine from the neck down to the lower back, creating neck and back pain for the individual. After 4 to 7 years of clinical success, this procedure is proving to be the best alternative to past procedures, including Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF), which involves the removal of the disc and the decompression of the spinal chord and nerve endings.

2. Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion – Sacroiliac joint dysfunction causes improper movement in the lower back, inducing back and lower leg pain. New techniques in fusion have allowed for a far less invasive procedure and is growing in popularity among those seeking to alleviate this position. Additionally, more options for bone grafts and innovations in implants offer patients greater control over the procedure.

3. Vertebral Augmentation – The treatments for fractured vertebra may have seen the greatest advances, thanks to new discoveries. In the past, nonsurgical treatments limited the amount of relief a patient could expect, but, today, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty operations can alleviate the pain caused by osteoporosis compression fractures. While vertebral augmentation is still fairly new, it has become a preferred procedure and affords the greatest possibility of complete pain relief.

While back surgery may still carry a stigma with it, those in need of relief may find greater hope in taking advantage of new and successful techniques. It’s still vital to find a Miami surgeon with whom you feel comfortable placing your trust and one who will help you fully explore all of your options. However, once you make the decision to pursue treatment, one of these advances may save you from the pain that nothing else has been able to relieve.