Overview

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine that puts pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing pain. Although young people who are born with a narrow spinal canal or who suffer traumatic injury to their spine can get spinal stenosis, it is most common in men and women over 50 years of age.

The narrowing of the spine can occur in one or more of three areas:

  • Center of the spine
  • Canals where nerves branch out from the spine
  • Space between the vertebrae

Cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare, very serious form of spinal stenosis that affects a bundle of nerve roots, called cauda equina, at the lumbar end of the spinal cord. These nerves send and receive messages to and from your legs, feet and pelvic organs. In CES, the nerves become compressed and paralyzed, affecting sensation and movement. This syndrome can be caused by heredity, physical trauma, infection, tumor, ruptured disk or spinal fracture.

CES is a surgical emergency. Failure to receive quick treatment to relieve this pressure can result in:

  • Permanent paralysis
  • Urinary and/or fecal incontinence
  • Loss of sexual sensation
  • Weakness
  • Pain or loss of feeling in one or both legs

The Northwestern Medicine Spine Center

The Spine Center, part of the Center for Comprehensive Orthopaedic and Spine Care (CCOSC) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital uses the latest techniques to treat acute and chronic spinal disorders. The Spine Center specialists provide physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurological surgery, neuroradiology and neuropsychology. By making use of leading-edge techniques and technology, regenerative- and nanotechnology-based bone graft substitutes, computer-navigated surgery, minimally-invasive spine surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery, the Northwestern Medicine Spine Center offers programs for the management of:

  • Spinal deformity
  • Spine oncology
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Failed neck or back surgery syndrome
  • Peripheral nerve compression syndromes
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Rheumatologic disorders of the spine
  • Spinal fractures and other traumatic injuries
  • Work-related injuries
  • Sports-related back and neck injuries

Additional CCOSC locations include:

Northwestern Medicine River Forest
420 Thatcher Ave.
River Forest, IL
60305

Northwestern Medicine Elmhurst
1200 S. York Road
Elmhurst, IL
60126

To schedule an appointment at the CCOSC at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Medicine River Forest and Northwestern Medicine Elmhurst, please call 855.466.7746.

The Joint & Spine Center

Our multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and nutritionists have decades of experience. Working together in this dedicated unit, each team member is specially trained in orthopaedics—which means advanced skill and better care after surgery. Furthermore, they are passionate about getting you on your feet again and back to the life you love—oftentimes within three days of your surgery.

At the Joint & Spine Center, part of the Center for Comprehensive Orthopaedic and Spine Care, you’ll have the best personalized care available, as well as the same amenities you've come to associate with Lake Forest Hospital, including:

  • Private, individually decorated and spacious rooms
  • Fresh Bedside Bistro® room service cuisine
  • Your own personal therapist who will develop training sessions based on your needs
  • Counseling from nutritionists with personal recommendations to improve your lifestyle
  • 24/7 access to a sun-drenched rehabilitative gym on the unit with monitored, personal therapy

To schedule an appointment at the Lake Forest Hospital CCOSC, please call 847.535.8500

To schedule an appointment at the Glenview CCOSC, please call 847.724.4536.

The Northwestern Medicine Spine Center

The Spine Center, part of the Center for Comprehensive Orthopaedic and Spine Care (CCOSC) at Northwestern Medicine Glenview Outpatient Center uses the latest techniques to treat acute and chronic spinal disorders. The Spine Center specialists provide physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurological surgery, neuroradiology and neuropsychology. By making use of leading-edge techniques and technology, regenerative- and nanotechnology-based bone graft substitutes, computer-navigated surgery, minimally-invasive spine surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery, the Northwestern Medicine Spine Center offers programs for the management of:

  • Spinal deformity
  • Spine oncology
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Failed neck or back surgery syndrome
  • Peripheral nerve compression syndromes
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Rheumatologic disorders of the spine
  • Spinal fractures and other traumatic injuries
  • Work-related injuries
  • Sports-related back and neck injuries

To schedule an appointment at the Lake Forest Hospital CCOSC, please call 847.535.8500.

To schedule an appointment at the Glenview CCOSC, please call 847.724.4536.

Integrated Spine Program

The spine specialists from Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital offer the latest advances in spine care at convenient office locations in the western suburbs. Including:

Our spine specialists blend innovation and skill to help restore your movement and improve your quality of life. We offer comprehensive back pain management plans to help you overcome spine problems, so you can enjoy life with less pain. The Northwestern Medicine spine specialists are a highly-experienced, collaborative team comprised of board-certified physicians including neurosurgeons, orthopaedic spine surgeons, and physical medicine specialists, as well as nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and chiropractors, all with training and experience in spine, back and neck care.

To schedule an appointment with one of our spine specialists, call 630.933.BACK (2225).