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Marcello Sammarone, M.D.
The phrase "spinal stenosis" is composed of the Latin word spīna that means thorn or backbone and the Greek term stenosis, which can be translated as choking. Therefore, the condition known as spinal stenosis is a reference to the situation when the spine is strangled to the point when the pressure inside the backbone canal is affecting the nerves and/or the spinal cord and causes pain.
Due to the nature and length of the spinal cord, it is only natural that the condition can manifest in various areas along the spinal segment. The two major types of spinal stenosis include:
Lumbar spinal stenosis
According to statistics, three quarters of the spinal stenosis cases are occurring in the lumbar area and, since it is very probable that it will affect the sciatic nerve, most patients report sharp pains running through the back of one or both legs. Although the symptoms of this condition are not extremely different, it is important to note that the lumbar spinal stenosis can be classified into the following categories:
Foraminal stenosis or lateral spinal stenosis when the spinal canal is strangled at its lower point and inevitably affects the sciatic nerve
If the canal is pressured beyond the foramen then the condition is known as a far lateral stenosis; while it may seem like a technicality, the truth is that this info is crucial in determining whether or not the patient will require surgery
Central stenosis is the second most prevalent lumbar stenosis and it is most commonly caused by the thickening of the ligaments or degenerated disks
Cervical spinal stenosis
Even though the number of cervical spinal stenosis cases is not so extensive, the truth is that this condition is actually more dangerous compared to the lumber spinal stenosis. Essentially, since the area being choked is responsible for movement and plays a major role in ensuring a correct posture, physicians suggest that the cervical spinal stenosis could lead to whole body weakness and even paralysis.
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