What is Spinal Stenosis?

In this video, Dr. Khan, a seasoned neurosurgeon, provides a detailed and accessible explanation of spinal stenosis.


The spine is made up of multiple building blocks.

The way to look at this is this is this is the front and these pointy bones in the back are the back part of the spine.

You can actually feel it by pushing on your skin.

Those little bony bumps you’re feeling are these spinous processes.

The way our spine works is that you have these hard bones that are the vertebral bodies and they’re stacked one on top of the other with little soft discs in the middle.

These discs which are soft and spongy act like shock absorbers.

They give you the flexibility and the ability to move around.

The spinal canal is where the spinal cord and the nerves live.

Through these little holes on the sides you have nerves that come out and then they go to their destination in the arm or the leg.

With age, unfortunately the warranty on your body runs out.

These discs, they start to shrink, you start to lose the the height, and you can imagine as the discs get smaller, they will collapse around the nerves that are coming out of those holes.

And as the discs collapse, bones will start rubbing on each other and the body’s natural process is to build more bone.

That bone will grow inside the canal.

Unfortunately, it’s going to push on your spinal cord and it’s going to push on your nerves leading to what’s called spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is narrowing.

It’s narrowing of the normal paths and spaces in your spine.

Bone Spurs can develop.

Hypertrophy, which is overgrowth of ligament, can occur.

Bulges in the discs can occur.

And all these things combined can squeeze the nerves that are normally living in that area.

Spinal stenosis can be in your cervical spine, the neck.

You can have it in your thoracic spine.

You can have it in your lumbar spine.

Physical Therapy tends to be a hit or miss option but it can be a good temporizing measure.

Similarly injections like steroid injections can give you some temporary relief.

If those measures fail, we will then discuss from the least aggressive to the most aggressive surgical options available to get rid of this problem once and for all.

Learn more about spinal stenosis.