Spinal stenosis is a painful back condition that is defined as a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is home to your spinal cord as well as a collection of nerves and nerve roots, so it’s no surprise that compression of the canal can cause severe pain, discomfort, and disability.
Spinal stenosis is diagnosed in two categories: primary stenosis or acquired stenosis. As the names imply, a person who suffers from primary spinal stenosis was born with the condition, while a person who suffers from acquired stenosis developed it over time or because of trauma, like a car accident. Today, our Atlanta orthopedic doctors take a closer look at spinal stenosis following a car crash.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms and Atlanta Orthopedic Treatment
The shock and distress from sustaining car accident injuries can cause your spinal canal to narrow. This process can occur in different parts of the canal. When the narrowing of the canal leads to problems in the spinal nerve roots, this is known as lumbar stenosis. Lumbar stenosis often occurs near the L3-L4 and L4-L5 levels of the spine, but it can develop at other vertebral segments as well.
When trauma leads to narrowing of the spinal canal near your neck, this is categorized as cervical spinal stenosis. Stenosis in this location can cause severe muscle weakness and partial disability and should be treated as quickly as possible. Symptoms that may indicate you are suffering from spinal stenosis following a car accident include:
- Balance issues
- Bladder or bowel incontinence
- Leg or arm weakness
- Numbness or a tingling sensation in your arms or legs
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, arms or hands
Atlanta Orthopedic Treatment of Spinal Stenosis
As with any injury, treatment depends on several different factors, like injury location, severity and potential success of all options available. Our Atlanta orthopedic doctors will likely see if symptoms resolve with conservative treatments before discussing surgical options. Some potential conservative treatments include:
- Chiropractic care
- Cortisone injections
- Light exercise
- Massage therapy
- OTC pain relievers
- Physical therapy
- Practicing good body posture
In the event that conservative treatment doesn’t provide effective pain relief, surgery may be required. This operation, known as a lumbar laminectomy, has a very high success rate (80 percent) and delivers relief through spinal decompression. Patients are often able to return to activities they had previously given up due to the pain and discomfort caused by spinal stenosis.
Call AICA Orthopedics For Immediate Treatment
Contact AICA Orthopedics today to learn more about our approach to treating spinal stenosis. Call us at (404) 855-2141 to schedule an immediate consultation.