New Jersey Spine Institute

Spinal Stenosis Treatment in New Jersey

Bedminster & Newton, NJ

At the New Jersey Spine Institute, all of our procedures are performed by a team of two Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeons to maximize relief and minimize your recovery time.
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Spinal stenosis is characterized by the narrowing of one or more spaces in the spinal canal. When the spinal cord and/or the nerve roots that branch off from it become compressed, pain and other symptoms such as numbness and weakness may occur in the back, neck, and extremities. Spinal stenosis can be caused by aging and wear and tear over time as well as by a variety of different conditions and injuries. It can affect people of any age, but at New Jersey Spine Institute, we see it most commonly in patients over the age of 50.

If you are experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis and seeking a definitive diagnosis and personalized treatment plan to help you move forward on the path to recovery, our world-class team of doctors is ready to help. Contact our clinic today to book a consultation!

Your initial consultation will include an all-inclusive review of prior conservative and surgical treatment along with a comprehensive physical examination to develop an accurate diagnosis

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal—the passage that runs through each vertebra in the spine and protects the spinal cord. In some cases, narrowing may also occur in the foramina (singular foramen), the openings in the vertebrae through which nerves exit the spinal canal.

When space becomes narrowed within the spinal canal and foramina, the spinal cord and/or the nerve roots that branch off of it may become irritated, compressed, or pinched. In turn, this can cause back and neck pain as well as tingling, numbness, and weakness that may extend into the upper and lower extremities.

Spinal stenosis can have numerous causes and many potential treatment options exist. The condition can range from mild to severe and presents differently in each individual patient.

There are 3 primary types of spinal stenosis: Lumbar spinal stenosis, cervical spinal stenosis, and foraminal stenosis

Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Cervical spinal stenosis takes place in the 7 vertebrae of the neck (C1 to C7). Compression of the spinal cord can cause the space between the vertebrae to shrink and has the potential to result in weakness of the body and even cause paralysis over time, in severe cases. Cervical spinal stenosis is a less common diagnosis than lumbar spinal stenosis but has the potential to be more serious.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis takes place in the 5 vertebrae of the lower back (L1 to L5) and is the more common diagnosis. When nerves in the lower back are compressed and unable to send clear signals to the lower extremities, pain and numbness may occur in the buttocks and legs. This is referred to as sciatica.

Foraminal Stenosis

Foraminal stenosis usually takes place in the lumbar area and is caused by the narrowing of the foramina. It places pressure on nerve roots exiting the spinal canal and is often diagnosed in combination with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Though rare, spinal stenosis of the thoracic spine (middle back) also exists. In addition, tandem spinal stenosis affects two or more areas of the spine simultaneously.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

The symptoms of spinal stenosis vary from patient to patient and depend on the location and severity of the condition. Some patients may be asymptomatic even when the narrowing of the spinal canal is visible on imaging tests while others may experience symptoms that come and go. Spinal stenosis often develops slowly and symptoms may change and progress over time.

The most common symptoms of spinal stenosis include:

  • Pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in the neck, back, arms, legs, hands, and/or feet.
  • Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis and/or foraminal stenosis often involve low back pain and pain or numbness that extends from the buttocks down the leg, sometimes even reaching the foot.
  • Symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis often involve neck pain and numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or hands.

Other spinal stenosis symptoms can include:

  • Inability to walk without pain
  • Sitting down frequently to combat pain
  • Clumsiness, balance problems, and/or deterioration in motor skills
  • Decreased dexterity in the hands
  • Trouble lifting arms in the air
  • Problems with bladder control, bowel control, and/or sexual function

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can have many different causes. Some people are born with it (known as congenital spinal stenosis), but more commonly the condition develops over time (known as acquired spinal stenosis). Some common causes of spinal stenosis include:


Injuries that result in a spinal fracture or bone spur have the potential to cause damage to intervertebral discs and the spaces between them.

Spinal Cysts or Tumors

Cysts or tumors can place pressure on the spinal canal and result in the narrowing and the compression of nerves.

Hereditary Conditions

Genetic conditions and disorders including achondroplasia, osteopetrosis, and more can lead to spinal stenosis.

Congenital Issues

Spinal stenosis can occur as the result of issues with the spine during fetal development such as spina bifida and other neural tube defects.


Osteoarthritis, disc issues including degenerative disc disease, and other conditions caused by wear and tear on the spine over time can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal and foramina.

How Is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed?

At New Jersey Spine Institute, we take the time to get to know our patients and go through a comprehensive diagnosis process with them before moving forward with treatment options. The diagnosis of spinal stenosis typically involves:

  • Reviewing medical history and asking about symptoms
  • Performing an in-depth physical examination
  • Ordering imaging tests that may include X-rays, MRI, or CT scans
  • In some cases, an electromyogram may be ordered to check the health of spinal nerves

What Treatment Options Are Available?

The best treatment plan for spinal stenosis depends on the cause and location of the condition as well as the severity of symptoms being experienced. In many cases, spinal stenosis can be effectively treated with non-surgical approaches, while in more severe cases, surgery may be the most beneficial path forward.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Mild cases of spinal stenosis can often be treated with non-surgical approaches including:

  • The application of heat and/or cold
  • Gentle stretching and exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Oral medications
  • Steroid injections

Surgical Treatments for Spinal Stenosis

Several surgical treatment options for spinal stenosis exist, including the following:

This type of surgery involves removing a portion of the vertebra known as the lamina to increase the amount of space available for the spinal cord and nerves.
This procedure widens the foramen, creating more space for the nerve roots to exit the spinal canal.
Spinal Fusion
A spinal fusion increases stability and reduces pain by permanently joining vertebrae together. The procedure is often paired with a discectomy (the removal of a severely degenerated intervertebral disc).

Treat Spinal Stenosis at New Jersey Spine Institute

At New Jersey Spine Institute, our expert team of surgeons has treated hundreds of cases of spinal stenosis and is prepared to diagnose and treat your symptoms with unparalleled skill. Learn more about our cutting-edge two-surgeon approach when you book a consultation. We look forward to meeting you!

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