WHAT IS THE SPINAL CANAL STENOSIS?
In its simplest terms, the spinal cord is compressed in the spinal canal, often in the low back and neck region, and less frequently in the back region, due to the narrowing of the canal diameter. The structures that compose the spinal canal are the yellow connective tissue we call flavum, the joints that connect the two vertebrae we call facet, and the bone structures we call lamina. Causes of complaints in patients are the calcifications in the age-related spine bones and the stenosis of anatomical structures -which we have mentioned above- causing for the compression of the spinal nerve roots and spinal cord.
THE SPINAL CANAL STENOSIS SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms and findings of spinal cord stenosis such as pain in the low back region include pain in the low back, pain in one or both legs, numbness, contraction and cramps in the legs after a certain distance, and loss of strength in the legs, fecal-urinary incontinence due to more severe stenosis are seen. Complaints and symptoms in the neck region include the neck pain, pain and numbness in one or both of the arms, loss of strength in the arms or hands, contraction and cramps in the arms, and decreased strength of muscle in the arms, walking disorder or staggered walking in the advanced stenosis.
HOW IS THE SPINAL CANAL STENOSIS DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of spinal canal stenosis is based on physical examination findings and assisted imaging methods. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) clearly shows the spinal cord and spinal canal diameters in the low back, neck or back region. In addition to MRI, calcifications in the spinal canal and in the areas where nerve roots come out are evaluated by computed tomography (CT).
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR THE SPINAL CANAL STENOSIS?
Drug therapy, physical therapy, muscular strengthening exercises, intra-articular injections may be beneficial in mild to moderate stenosis. However, surgical intervention is necessary for severe stenosis. The purpose of surgical intervention is to remove the structures that causes stenosis in spinal canal and decrease the compression of spinal cord and nerve roots. The technique to be selected is decided according to the patient. If the waist joints we called facet joints are not overgrown and can be protected, the patient does not need to wear platinum at the same time while the canal diameter is being relieved. However, in patients with extremely narrow canal diameter and overgrown joints, platinum should be used to fix the low back because it is necessary to be removed bone, joints, and connective tissue during the surgery. Which technique will be applied depends on the patient and the most appropriate and most beneficial technique is preferred for the patient. In the canal stenosis in the neck region, an attempt is made from the back, not from the front, unlike the cervical disc herniation. Similarly, structures that compress the spinal cord are removed in the same way as in the lumbar region. Here too, the need for platinum fitting is decided according to the patient. The best method for the patient is decided after the patient is evaluated in detail.
SPINAL CANAL STENOSIS POST-OP
Patients may walk 12 hours after surgery, whether or not the patients have platinum. Immediately after the operation, the pain in his legs or arms is passed. The discharge time from the hospital can be between 3 and 5 days depending on the person. The sutures are removed on the 10th day after surgery. Contrary to what is known in society with the developing technology, the risk of paralysis in these surgeries is little if any.