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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

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Spinal Stenosis

You’ll find expert spinal stenosis treatment at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). We get to the source of your pain and develop a customized treatment plan to meet your needs. We offer everything from conservative therapies such as chiropractic medicine to spinal stenosis surgery.

Spinal stenosis is the most common degenerative spine problem. While causes of pain can be difficult to diagnose, our experienced team has a high level of expertise gained from treating thousands of patients every year.

We use the latest diagnostic technology to determine the cause of your pain and then discuss your treatment options with you. We typically use nonsurgical methods to relieve the pain and improve your symptoms. If our spine surgeons determine with you that surgery will give you the best results, we will discuss the details of your procedure and recovery so you know what to expect.

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column, which pinches the nerves, causing pain and numbness in your legs and arms. 

The main cause of stenosis is aging, as the disks in the spine dry out and shrink. 

People who are 50 years of age or older or who were born with a small spinal canal are at higher risk for spinal stenosis.

Why choose LVHN for spinal stenosis treatment?

When you come to LVHN, you will find:

  • Expert diagnosis: Our experienced team treats many people with spinal stenosis each year. We get you a precise diagnosis and plan a treatment that gets you moving again, without pain.  
  • Comprehensive care: From the initial evaluation through treatment and rehab, we are with you every step of the way. 
  • Advanced surgical techniques: Our spinal surgeons use the most advanced techniques available, including minimally invasive surgery. We use intra-operative imaging during the surgery to help ensure the procedure is a success.    

Spinal stenosis symptoms

Common symptoms include: 

  • Pain and difficulty walking
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs
  • Sensation of hot or cold, weakness or a heavy, tired feeling in the legs
  • Clumsiness or frequent falls

Spinal stenosis diagnosis 

After taking a medical history and physical examination, we use imaging scans to confirm a diagnosis.

Spinal stenosis treatment

Nonsurgical treatment methods include:

Surgery for spinal stenosis may be an option if conservative methods don’t provide sufficient relief.  People who have severe weakness or loss of bowel and bladder function may also be candidates for surgery. Surgical procedures include:

  • Anterior lumbar fusion: Joining the vertebrae through an abdominal incision
  • Cervical fusion: Joining vertebrae in the neck
  • Cervical laminoplasty: Opening the lamina (part of the vertebra) expands the spinal canal to decompress nerves and the spinal cord and alleviate pain.
  • Cervical laminotomy: Removing a small portion of lamina in the neck relieves pressure on nerves and alleviates pain.
  • Laminectomy: Laminectomy removes a portion of vertebral bone.
  • Lumbar microlaminotomy: Removing a small portion of lamina using minimally invasive techniques relieves pressure on nerves and alleviates back pain.
  • Posterior lumbar fusion: Joining vertebrae through an incision in the back eases lower back and leg pain.

Neurological diagnostic services

The right diagnosis is the first step to getting the care you need for a spinal condition. We provide the latest, most advanced diagnostic and imaging techniques.

Learn more

Physical therapy

Our inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation specialists develop a customized plan to help relieve back pain and other symptoms. Our goal is to help you return to your daily activities as quickly as possible.

Learn more about physical therapy options.