Cervical Stenosis

Cervical Stenosis Specialist

Cervical stenosis is a name for the narrowing of your spinal column that can result from conditions like degenerative disc disease and bone spurs. If you have symptoms of cervical stenosis, Sebastian Villarreal, MD, and George Galvan, MD, of Texas Neuro Spine can help. At three locations in San Antonio, Texas, and another in Kerrville, Texas, they deliver advanced treatments that address the causes of cervical stenosis and relieve chronic neck and arm pain. Call Texas Neuro Spine today to take advantage of their expertise or use the online form to book an appointment.

Cervical Stenosis Q & A

What is cervical stenosis?

Cervical stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal formed by your neck vertebrae becomes narrower. That might not cause any issues at first, but in time, the narrowness can put pressure on or irritate the nerves as they come away from your spinal cord.

Nerve compression and irritation is a common cause of neck pain known as cervical radiculopathy. As well as causing pain in your neck, cervical stenosis can affect your shoulders, arms, and hands.

In addition to the pain cervical stenosis causes, you might experience:

  • Tingling, prickling, or burning sensations
  • Numbness and pins-and-needles
  • Weakness in your arms
  • Loss of balance and coordination

In the most severe cases, cervical stenosis can even lead to incontinence.

What causes cervical stenosis?

Cervical stenosis is a condition that most often develops because of the wear-and-tear of years and natural aging.

Conditions like osteoarthritis occur as you get older when the protective surface of the joints wears away. In your spine, this affects your facet joints, which link the vertebrae.

Osteophytes (bone spurs) often develop on arthritic facet joints and other weakened areas of your vertebrae. They’re bony growths that your body produces to support a weakened spine, but they also tend to make the spinal canal narrower.

Disc problems like degenerative disc disease and herniated discs can also affect the cervical vertebrae. These discs start off being spongy and high in water, but as you get older, they dry out, flatten, and harden. The inside of the disc is then more likely to protrude through a weakness in the outer shell.

How is cervical stenosis treated?

A combination of physical therapy, modifying your activities, and using anti-inflammatory medication is often effective in relieving cervical stenosis. It’s always best to try these conservative approaches for several months before considering other options.

If you’re still experiencing symptoms due to cervical stenosis, epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks can help by reducing the inflammation.

These injections offer long-term improvement in symptoms even when other approaches aren’t working. If injections aren’t helping, spinal cord stimulation is another option.

For patients whose neck pain from cervical stenosis persists despite treatment, surgical options are available at Texas Neuro Spine.

What type of surgery might I need for cervical stenosis?

The Texas Neuro Spine doctors perform cervical decompression surgery to remove any bone or soft tissues that cause nerve compression in your neck. During cervical decompression, your surgeon takes out a small section of bone where it’s pressing on the nerve root.

You might also need cervical fusion surgery if there’s too much bone pressing on the nerve because removing large sections of bone can affect your spine’s stability. Spinal fusion reinforces your spine by permanently joining the vertebrae.

Find out more about treatments for cervical stenosis by calling Texas Neuro Spine today or book an appointment online.

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