Q. I am 59 and in my 34th year as a T10 complete para. Over the past year I’ve developed numbness and tingling in my fingers that gets worse after pushing up hills. Tests say it may be cervical spinal stenosis.
What is spinal stenosis and what causes it? Is it a common secondary problem in long-term SCI? How is it diagnosed and what are the options to treat it?
A. My own research and personal experience suggests that the answer to your question is yes, spinal stenosis is fairly common and can cause serious secondary complications in people with long-term SCI. For more on the subject I turned to Dr. Cristina Sadowsky, clinical director of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
“Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of spaces within the spinal column and/or spinal canal and is caused by degenerative changes in discs and cartilage that naturally occur with age as well as use and overuse,” says Sadowsky. “Stenosis can be bot