What is Canal Stenosis?
Canal Stenosis is caused by narrowing along the spinal canal which contains the spinal cord. It is the same condition as spinal stenosis.
There are two types of canal stenosis with the first being congenital or developmental stenosis where the canal diameter is too small for the nerve roots and spinal cord.
Acquired stenosis, the second type, is more common and develops through the long-term processes of degeneration of the three-joint complex that consists of the intervertebral disc, the inferior and superior vertebral bodies and the facet joints. With the third decade of development, synovitis, or inflammation of the synovial joints in the spine, can occur. Osteophytes can form narrowing the foramina, root canals and spinal canal. Herniated and slipped discs can also participate in the biomechanical degeneration that also loosens the facet joints, increases spine instability and leads to spinal stenosis(1). The process gets worse. The narrowing not only places pressure on the neural system, but it also impinges the vascular system which results in ischemic neuritis which adds to the symptoms.
When does canal stenosis usually appear and what are its symptoms?
How is canal stenosis treated?
Some patients may not respond to the conservative approach and may require surgery. Perhaps the optimal treatment is foraminal decompression using microsurgery techniques to reduce damage to soft tissue, muscles and bone structures. Some cases with spinal instability may require more intensive surgical solutions such as artificial disc replacement or disc fusions both of which are more invasive(1).
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