Spinal Health Month and Spinal Stenosis Education

spinal health month spinal stenosis

Get to know your spine - October is Spinal Health Month

October was Spinal Health Month and spinal stenosis was on the agenda for many organizations who took the opportunity to raise awareness of the prevalence of back pain in modern life. Back pain is experienced by 80-90% of Americans at some time in their lives and may be a result of an acute injury, muscle strain, degeneration of the spine, muscles, ligaments, bones, or joints, or a consequence of disc herniation or bulging. Congenital diseases causing spinal stenosis and neurogenic claudication are also factors in back pain, leg pain, and weakness in the limbs in some patients and spotting the signs of spinal stenosis early may help postpone or prevent progression of the symptoms. Continue reading “Spinal Health Month and Spinal Stenosis Education” »


Spinal Stenosis and Foot-Drop

spinal stenosis foot drop posture

Foot drop posture, a possible result of spinal stenosis.

Foot drop and spinal stenosis are often connected, although this association may be overlooked despite the possibility of serious accidents occurring as a result of the drop foot phenomenon. Patients usually feel like their foot is floppy and slaps against the ground when walking. The symptom usually suggests nerve damage, muscle damage, or some kind of structural abnormality affecting the foot and it is a condition affecting the patient’s ability to raise his or her foot at the ankle. Patients also have problems pointing the toes towards the body (dorsiflexion) or moving the ankle inward or outward. Some patients have accompanying pain in the ankle, weakness, and/or numbness, all of which can adversely affect walking ability and lead to trips and falls. Patients may develop a characteristic high-stepping walk (known as steppage gait or footdrop gait) which can alert physicians or physical therapists to the condition. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis and Foot-Drop” »


What is Kyphosis?

kyphosis what is
Curvature of the spine comes in a number of forms, cervical kyphosis, thoracic kyphosis, and other types of postural kyphosis as well as lordosis of the spine. The simplest kyphosis definition is a curving of the spine that creates a hunchback or slouching posture. Lordosis, in contrast, is the curving of the spine backward rather than forward and different portions of the spine have a naturally lordotic curve or kyphotic curve. It is the abnormal curvature of the spine which presents problems for patients, such as when kyphosis becomes pronounced or occurs in spinal segments that should instead have a lordotic curve. Spinal stenosis and kyphosis may occur together where the curvature is particularly advanced or where other factors, such as osteophytes or disc herniation are also present. Continue reading “What is Kyphosis?” »

Spinal Stenosis and Neurogenic Claudication

neurogenic claudication spinal stenosis

Neurogenic claudication as a result of spinal stenosis

Changes were made in late 2010 to the medical billing codes used for spinal stenosis and neurogenic claudication, with many of the new ICd-9 codes taking effect this month. At the request of Andelle Teng, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon working in Washington, the revised codes now include options to describe a patient with spinal stenosis with or without neurogenic claudication. Previously, there was just a single code and the important distinction between the two conditions was, therefore, lost. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis and Neurogenic Claudication” »