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What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal and/or a reduction in size of the bony openings where nerves exit and branch out from the spine. This narrowing most commonly happens gradually as a result of degeneration of the anatomical structures in the spine, including the intervertebral discs, joints, and ligaments. For other patients, stenosis can occur as a result of an acute herniated disc and can result in a surgical urgency or emergency.

With this condition, bone spurs, called osteophytes, which develop because of the excessive load on the intervertebral disc, grow into the spinal canal. The joints also enlarge as they become arthritic, which contributes to a decrease in the space available for the nerve roots. The ligaments of the spinal column, especially the ligamentum flavum, become stiff, less flexible, and thickened with age, also contributing to spinal stenosis. Intervertebral discs can also bulge or herniate, contributing to spinal stenosis. These processes narrow the spinal canal and may begin to impinge and put pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord, creating the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Contact Dr. Stieber's office today to learn more about his NYC spinal stenosis treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis results in different symptoms, depending upon the region of the spine where it occurs. Spinal stenosis in the cervical (neck) or thoracic (upper back) spine can cause myelopathy (compression of the spinal cord) or radiculopathy (damage to the nerve roots). Lumbar spinal stenosis which occurs in the low back can result in neurogenic claudication (compression of the cauda equina) as well as radiculopathy.

Symptoms vary, depending on the area of the spine affected. Numbness, weakness, or pain in the back and extremities is common. Spinal stenosis usually worsens over time; however, early diagnosis and treatment can slow or even halt its progression.

Spinal Stenosis Treatment NYC

Cervical (neck) stenosis may cause:

  • Neck pain ranging from mild to severe
  • Pain, weakness, or numbness in the shoulders or extremities
  • Impaired motor function, especially of the hands
  • Alterations in gait or balance

Lumbar (lower back) stenosis may cause:

  • Lower back pain ranging from mild to severe
  • Pain, weakness, or numbness in the buttocks or legs
  • Difficulty walking or standing for long periods; pain often relieved by sitting down or stooping forward
  • Decreased walking distance; needing to stop frequently to rest when walking
  • Neurogenic claudication
  • Foot disorders

How Can I Obtain a Diagnosis?

If it is suspected that spinal stenosis is the underlying cause of your symptoms, Dr. Stieber can confirm the diagnosis and tailor his NYC spinal stenosis treatment plan that will meet your needs. During your appointment at our New York office, he will ask about your symptoms and medical history, before performing a comprehensive physical examination. In addition, one or more of the following imaging tests will likely be required:

Spinal Stenosis Treatment NYC


Dr. Stieber’s office features an x-ray on-site, which is an uncommon convenience in NYC. The results of this test can reveal bone spurs that may be narrowing the space within the spinal canal.

CT Scan

A CT scan combines x-ray images taken from an array of angles to produce detailed images. It can reveal a number of issues, including herniated discs, bone spurs, tumors and problems with the spinal cord and nerves.


An MRI uses a magnet and radio waves to produce detailed images of the spine, which can reveal tumors and damage to the discs and ligaments. The images also allow Dr. Stieber to identify the precise nerves that are affected.

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Dear Patients:

Our patients' health and safety is our number one priority. Our office continues to be open for all email, telephone, and online inquiries. You can call us at 646-916-3962 or contact us via email to schedule your virtual telemedicine or in-person visit. Our doctors will be holding regular office hours for virtual video consultations and follow-up visits that permit you to stay in the comfort of your own home, utilizing your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Additionally, we will continue to see select patients in the office for consultation and follow-up visits, including preoperative and postoperative appointments. Our doctors continue to perform procedures in our private, free-standing surgery center that offers an array of outpatient surgical services to treat spinal issues such as acute back pain, disc herniations, sciatica, and pinched nerves in the back or neck. We are also able to offer clean and efficient on-site x-ray capabilities in our office.

Please know that we join our community in taking all advised precautions* to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Call today to schedule a consultation and explore your options with the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan.

The following precautionary measures have been established to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • All patients are screened both prior to and on the day of their office appointment. Patients will not be permitted in the office and will be asked to reschedule their appointment if:
    • You or anyone in your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
    • You have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus or have traveled (both domestically and internationally) within the last 14 days.
  • We have updated our patient and visitor policies:
    • Only a limited number of patients will be permitted on the office hour schedule.
    • No additional visitors or family members are allowed to accompany the patient during their office visit, unless the patient is in need of an aide or a translator
    • Infants, children, and adolescents are asked to stay home and will not be permitted to accompany the patient to their appointment.

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