Spinal Stenosis Specialist

Richard B. Kim, MD -  - Neurosurgery

Richard B. Kim, MD

Neurosurgery located in Newport Beach, CA & Orange, CA

Tingling numbness or weakness in your limbs isn’t normal, and it often arises from a spinal injury. One of several potential causes is spinal stenosis. At his offices in Newport Beach, CA and Orange, CA, board-certified neurosurgeon Richard Kim MD MS Inc relieves the symptoms of spinal stenosis with non-invasive procedures as well as minimally invasive surgery. To review your treatment options for spinal stenosis with Dr. Kim’s help, call his office, or book your appointment online today.

Spinal Stenosis

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the nerves in your spinal cord become compressed and place pressure on each other. It most often originates from a narrowing of the spaces within the bones of your spine, which can happen for a number of reasons.

There are two types of spinal stenosis causing slightly different symptoms. You may have one or both types at a time:

Cervical stenosis

Cervical spinal stenosis originates in your neck. You might feel neck pain along with other symptoms like limb numbness, limb weakness, or balance problems.

Lumbar stenosis

Lumbar stenosis originates in the lower section of your spine. Depending on which nerves are compressed, you might feel numbness or weakness in your feet or legs, cramping in your legs while standing or walking, or general lower back pain.

What causes spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can arise over time because of a naturally narrow spinal canal or because of a specific condition causing your spinal canal to become narrower. The following conditions are common causes of spinal stenosis:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disc
  • Stiff, thickening ligaments
  • Tumors along your spine
  • Paget’s disease
  • Traumatic spine injuries

Women are more likely to develop spinal stenosis than men, but everyone’s chances of developing it increase after age 50. If the cause of your spinal stenosis isn’t readily apparent, Dr. Kim may order imaging like an MRI or CT scan for a diagnosis. 

What are my treatment options for spinal stenosis?

Treatment for spinal stenosis typically begins with conservative methods, such as physical therapy, activity modification, and medication. You might also require epidural steroid injections for persistent inflammation. If these approaches aren’t successful, Dr. Kim specializes in minimally-invasive spine surgery for spinal stenosis. 

Mild spinal stenosis could benefit from foraminotomy. This procedure involves enlarging the small hole in your vertebra where the nerves exit your spine. However, the most common form of surgery for spinal stenosis is laminectomy, in which Dr. Kim removes parts of the bone in the narrowed part of your spine to make more room. 

If a disc problem is causing your spinal stenosis, Dr. Kim might perform anterior cervical disc fusion surgery (ACDF) to remove the disc and fuse the vertebrae on either side. Alternatively, he could perform artificial disc replacement surgery.

To consult with experienced neurosurgeon Richard Kim MD MS Inc about treatment for your spinal stenosis, call the office or book your appointment online today.