Does Everyone Get Spinal Stenosis?

Does Everyone Get Spinal Stenosis?

Does Everyone Get Spinal Stenosis?

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If you live long enough,  you will get spinal stenosis.   Everyone must face the fact that they will age.  It is better than the alternative.  Aging is the process by which the cells in your body die, but the replacement cells do not have the same initially properties of the older cells.  Some scientists think up to 1 million cells in your body die every second.  In many ways,  it is a good thing,  as it rids the body of old,  ineffective,  or potentially cancerous cells.  As we age,  however,  the newer replacement cells may not have the same properties as prior cells.

In your vertebral disks,  scientist think the your cells produce a certain type of proteoglycan that attracts water when young.  As you age,  the type and amount of proteoglycan changes,  causing less attraction of water.  Without this water in the disk,  the disk flattens,  and the walls of the disk,  or annulus,  start to bulge.

As the disk flattens,  it causes the joints in the back of the spine,  the facet joints,  to slide further past the normal range of motion.  By this process,  it also causes excess pressure on the vertebral_anatomy_locartilage cells lining the joints,  and eventually cause wear and tear of the smooth cartilage lining.  Because of the wear and tear of the smooth cartilage lining,  the small pain nerves located underneath the cartilage layer become irritated.  The body reacts to this process by trying to take pressure away from the area of cartilage wear.  That is the process of enlarging the surface area of the joints,  or what spine specialists call joint or facet hypertrophy.

Most of us have seen that joint enlargement process already,  when we look at the finger joints of many of our older relatives and friends.  Often times,  there may be some crookedness or enlargement of the joints.  Those joints are an excellent example of the joint hypertrophy that we are discussing.  We also call this joint hypertrophy,   arthritis.

To understand spinal stenosis,  now imagine a nerve traveling next to the joint,  as the joint begins to widen.  It will basically crowd out the nerve to accommodate the widening.

In the spine,  the nerves are located in the middle of the spinal canal,  and exit the spinal canal through a bony channel called the foramen.   In spinal stenosis,  foramen  narrows secondary to the thinning of the disk,  and the crowding of the nerve by the widening of the facet joints.

This is the process by which we get spinal stenosis.  If you live long enough,  the aging process will cause all of us to develop SPINAL STENOSIS.

Citations

  • Hooten WM, Cohen SP. Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Clinically Focused Review for Primary Care Specialists. Mayo Clin Proc. 2015 Dec;90(12):1699-718. PubMed PMID: 26653300

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

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2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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