Barnes-Jewish & Washington University
Spine Center

Spinal Stenosis

The spinal canal, which protects the spinal cord and nerve roots, can degenerate and narrow over time. When the narrowing becomes great enough to compress the spinal cord, spinal stenosis occurs. Patients with spinal stenosis may experience shooting pain, numbness, weakness or a feeling of heaviness in the legs.

Common treatments for spinal stenosis include physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medication, rest and weight loss. The spine experts at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Spine Center typically recommend these conservative treatments before surgery. If surgery is needed, anterior or posterior decompression can be performed depending on patient and radiographic findings. A spinal fusion with instrumentation and bone grafts may be needed as well.

Regardless of the location of the spinal stenosis, the Spine Center has multiple specialists who focus on cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal stenosis and its treatment, both operatively and non-operatively.

Physician Specialists – Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Physician Specialists – Thoracic and Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

For a referral to a Washington University neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call .

Slipped Disc/Lumbar Herniation

Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Lukas Zebala talks about the treatment of slipped discs and lumbar disc herniation.


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