St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
News Releases
About Us
Locations & Directions
Download Our Logo - ZIP
Download Photos - ZIP
Baby Bunting Photo Gallery
Release of Patient Information under HIPAA - PDF
St. Luke's Hospital in the News
News Media Contact
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment

In The News

Dr. Paul Matz, St. Luke's Hospital

Women appear more likely to require treatment for spinal stenosis

As we age, so do our spines. That is why many weekend warriors start to feel the aches and pains of activities such as exercising, yard work or even chores around the house soon after they are over. Some people chalk it up to the normal wear and tear of life when, in fact, it could be a much more serious condition called spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal canal.

This type of condition is not uncommon. About 95 percent of the population will experience some form of degenerative spinal condition by age 50. In contrast to other forms of degenerative joint disease, spinal degeneration is often asymptomatic. Spinal stenosis is common for those age 60 or older, but women appear more likely to require some form of corrective treatment. Treatment is sometimes needed because as this narrowing occurs, it may cause pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots which may lead to feelings of pain, numbness, cramping or weakness in the legs and/or shoulders.

Spinal stenosis may be inherited, or it may develop over time. If inherited, genetic factors such as a smaller spinal canal, scoliosis or abnormal bone formations may lead to a spinal stenosis diagnosis. In more common cases, spinal stenosis is a degenerative disease brought on by age. Enlarged ligaments, bulging discs, poor alignment, past injuries, arthritis, tumors or bone spurs may produce pressure on nerve roots or the spinal cord itself causing symptoms to occur.

A physician can identify whether or not you have the condition through a physical examination, by analyzing family history and using imaging such as X-rays. Treatment often includes anti-inflammatory medications, injections to minimize pain, a modification in activity, exercises and physical therapy.

In some instances, if non-operative treatment is not effective, surgery may be required. This may be an option for those who do not respond to earlier treatment or if their condition interferes with crucial everyday activities like walking, bladder or bowel function or other individual issues. Surgical techniques may include removing affected areas to relieve pressure or to re-establish alignment of the spine. Discuss with your physician which option is best for you.

Dr. Paul Matz is a neurosurgeon at St. Luke's Hospital. To take a free spine risk assessment, visit St. Luke's HealthAware Risk Assessments page.

This article was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on August 8, 2013.

Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
History
Mission
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs
Assessment

Newsroom
Services
Brain & Spine
Cancer
Heart
Maternity
Orthopedics
Pulmonary
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
mystlukes
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Health Risk Assessments
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Volunteer
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
Careers
Careers
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile