What is Lumbar Stenosis?
When the spinal canal in the lower back is narrowed, the pressure on the nerve causes pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. Lumbar stenosis is usually the result of bone spurs or herniated discs brought about by aging.
Read what our patients are saying:
LUMBAR STENOSIS & SPONDYLOLISTHESIS
“I practiced cardiac surgery for greater than 30 years in Los Angeles. I retired with the with the intention of travelling and enjoying life with my wife and spinal stenosis stopped me in my tracks. I had a spondylolisthesis with lumbar stenosis and the nerve pain in my legs became so severe that I could not walk. I could barely get up.
I had consultations and opinions form doctors in L.A., New York, and frankly all over the country with similar recommendations for an extensive fusion procedure. My research led me to Dr. Jeffrey Cantor in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He developed a less invasive technique that isolated and removed the pressure on the spinal nerves form the inside out, preserving the important structure of the spine. There would be no need for an extensive multiple level fusion.
I had the procedure in early 2010. I was out of the hospital in one day, completely healed in three months, and have been traveling ever since.”
LUMBAR STENOSIS & SPONDYLOLISTHESIS
“I would like to thank you and your team for the quality of medical care and great success you provided me with my back surgery. My wife and I had met a young lady through mutual friends who had undergone an extensive neck operation with great success.
She and her husband gave us a chronological history of the process they went through from surgery to recovery. It was very compelling. I made the appointment with her surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Cantor. In the examination, the PA did a more comprehensive preliminary than I had experienced previously. Dr. Cantor came in the room and we began what turned out to be a informal conversation that progressed into a 45 minute assessment and detailed procedure of what he envisioned as a solution to my problem. He outlined the protocol from surgery through recovery with the final outcome being no pain or disability. It all made sense to me. Surgery was done on November 15, 2010. Today, I’m back in the gym and walking for one hour without any pain. Great job guys!” Show less
Battalion Chief, Ret.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Dept.
“It first started back in 2004. I began to get short, sporadic bursts of numbness and pain that would radiate from the center of my chest to the left side of my body. The first thing you think about is a heart problem, so I went to get an EKG.
They told me everything was fine, that it’s probably a pinched nerve, and that I should go and see a chiropractor. I was a minor league hockey player growing up, and I’d always been very flexible. And I’d always had a difficult time with chiropractors, who would bend me this way and that and nothing would snap. So given that the pain was sporadic at best, I thought I’d just shrug it off like most men do, and it would eventually go away. Plus I was in the early stages of a divorce after 26 years of marriage, and I had a daughter in college, and it was a stressful period of my life, so I thought that the pain I was experiencing probably had something to do with that.
A year later the pain and numbness down my left side began to increase in frequency and intensity, to the point that I would sometimes have to lie down for a few minutes until it passed. I was a base player in a band at the time, and if I played for a long gig it would recur. But over the next few years it practically went away, and I didn’t bother about it too much after that.
Then in late 2013 it suddenly came back with a vengeance. By then I was going through a second divorce, which was even more stressful than the first, and so I thought it was due to all the anxiety I was experiencing. By the beginning of 2014 it would happen maybe once every three or four weeks, and it would last up to a minute. It felt like pins and needles, and I couldn’t feel my arm move at times. It started to affect my sleep. I went to an urgent care doctor and they prescribed some pain killers. Despite usually being very laid back (I was one of Miami’s first community police officers so it would take a lot to rile me up) I became constantly irritable and I suddenly had no patience for anyone, which was totally out of character. My behavior became more erratic, I started drinking and I was a mess.
One night, my band was playing a gig locally and we had a huge crowd. As the lead singer in the band I get quite animated. But suddenly, the whole side of my body went completely dead. I thought I was having a stroke! It passed after a few minutes but was sufficiently serious this time for me to resolve to seek medical attention. My drummer recommended that I come and see Dr. Cantor, where he worked as a physician’s assistant. He saw me on a Monday, sent me off for an MRI on Wednesday, and on Friday I came back for the diagnosis.
Dr. Cantor explained exactly what was going on. Apparently I was suffering from spinal stenosis, that had wrapped itself around my nerve and was affecting the whole left side of my body. Dr. Cantor put me immediately at ease and explained my surgical options. He had the sort of reassuring confidence that you want in your physician. He showed me videos and pictures and seemed to have a genuine concern in designing a solution that was going to be right for me and getting me back to a normal life. Later that afternoon, I went to see another spine surgeon for a second opinion, just to do my due diligence and give myself the reassurance that I was choosing the right option. My experience was like night and day. He immediately started talking about a fusion of my neck, a much more radical procedure. The doctor was cold and detached; it felt like I was going to get a consultation with an attorney. I left there feeling horrified. It was a totally different story to what I was being told at the Cantor Spine Institute. When I came here I got exactly what I needed to hear: they knew exactly what was wrong; they were going to fix me up; they were going to take care of me; this wasn’t the end of the world; I was going to be fine.
I was scheduled for surgery at Holy Cross Hospital in August. In fact, we decided to bring it forward a few days as I had to quit a gig early because I couldn’t breathe or turn my head at one point. I know many people who go into surgery with a great deal of anxiety, but Dr. Cantor allayed all my fears. Not only did he make a complex procedure seem very routine – he explained it in a way that made perfect sense to me in terms of how and why this particular procedure would work. I felt completely at ease.
I don’t remember too much about my time in the hospital. It all went very smoothly. I was discharged the following day and began my recovery at home. The first shower the day after surgery was very uncomfortable, but that was understandable. I slept a lot during that first week. I was up and starting to move around by the end of that week. I was back to work in about three weeks. I had to wear a neck brace for five or six weeks and keep my head straight. I noticed the only restriction I had was driving, as I couldn’t really turn my head. The follow-up care was great. I had a nurse come to my house to check up on me several times during the first couple of weeks, which was very convenient. My recovery was pretty smooth. I was back on stage performing just over a month later. So far, there’s been no recurrence of my pain and numbness whatsoever. My irritability went away. It’s been like night and day. I feel like it’s taken about 10 years off my life. And it’s helped with things I didn’t even know I had a problem with. For example, prior to surgery it was almost impossible for me to reach orgasm. After the surgery, everything works just fine! My body reacts just differently now. It’s literally like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel really blessed to have met Dr. Cantor.”
“There I was, lying facedown on my bed, unable to move. The pain in my back and neck had reached an all-time high. The immobility was a new development. The pain, well, I’d been dealing with that for some time—longer than I should have.
I winced as I tried to move and thought back on the days I’d woken with a pinching pain slightly worse than the day before, taking an Advil hoping it would help. But nothing helped. Stretching, massages, taking it easy—I’d tried it all, and there was no relief.
Something had to be done. I couldn’t keep living like this.
I walked into the orthopedic surgeon’s office with my arm held high over my head. I don’t know why, but this position offered me momentary solace from the pain in my back. Seeing me this way, the orthopedic surgeon instantly knew what was wrong and recommended I see Dr. Jeffrey Cantor of the Cantor Spine Institute.
A spine surgeon? That couldn’t be right, I thought. I felt a little uneasy about the visit—surely it couldn’t be that serious.
Walking into Dr. Cantor’s office, I realized he must be a pretty good doctor, with a high approval rating and a waiting room full of patients. He came in, sat down and took his time, asking me how I was feeling and what I wanted to do. After taking X-rays, he announced that I had spinal stenosis—a condition where arthritis builds up around the bones, blocking off the spinal cord.
This diagnosis caught me off-guard. I thought I just had a pinched nerve. Fortunately, Dr. Cantor made me feel confident that he knew how to fix it.
I’d always considered myself a healthy guy, but Dr. Cantor’s diet and health plan pre-surgery made me change my ways. Healthy green shakes, lots of vegetables, fruit, and lean protein rounded out my diet. Water and antioxidants built up my immune system so I’d be strong going into surgery.
Positive thinking became my go-to. I’d tell myself, “Everything is going to be OK.” I knew it hurt now, but it would get better. It was easy to see the role my frame of mind played in this journey toward wellness. Negativity equals stress, and I knew that giving in would keep me from reaching my goal, so I stayed positive.
Before the big day, I didn’t have many reservations. Everyone has fear and concerns when it comes to surgery, of course, but I knew I had to do something to alleviate this pain. My biggest worry centered around whether or not I’d be a full person at the end of it all. I felt scared of limitation and further discomfort. I wanted to get back to being completely functional again.
So I asked Dr. Cantor, “Will I be 100 percent when you’re done?”
He looked at me and without hesitating, said, “Yeah, I think you will be.”
And you know what? I was. I am. So far, it’s been perfect. I feel brand new.”
LUMBAR STENOSIS & SPONDYLOLISTHESIS
“I am an Orthopaedic Surgeon and also a patient of Dr. Jeff Cantor. I had progressive spinal stenosis with numbness in my legs whenever I would walk 50 feet , ending up in a hunched over position. After researching the treatment options and consultation with two top New England spine surgeons, I chose to have Dr. Cantor perform my surgery.
Discharged the next morning , I was able to walk out of the hospital in an erect position with minimal discomfort and no further numbness or weakness. My post-operative course (now 6 weeks) has been uncomplicated with minimal discomfort requiring minimal amounts of Tylenol and no narcotics. Using his ultrasonic scalpel, Dr. Cantor was able to perform a two level decompression without the need for fusion. This is different from laser surgery which treats the symptoms but does not deal with the primary problem. Although I do not expect that everyone will do as well, I feel that Dr. Cantor will spend time with each patient and individualize treatment accordingly. Highly recommended!”
J. W. Lyons, MD
LUMBAR SPONDYLOLISTHESIS & SPINAL STENOSIS
“I’d like to share my personal experiences with you. Prior to surgery, I was an active 72 year old, golfing, sailing, etc., but as the years progressed, I started suffering severe lower back pain and had to curtail my daily activities. It was then that I decided to consult pain management doctors.
After many attempts to ease my pain (epidurals), I was not able to continue my activities without being tired and exhausted. The pain persisted. Finally, I research a spinal surgeon and your name came highly recommended. I made the appointment for a consultation. That appointment went well and I decided to proceed with the surgery. From day one, I was instructed in detail what I should expect. A nutritionist was suggested with the healing process. That proved to be exceptional. Right from the beginning, I started eating a very nutritional diet which certainly helped with my recuperation. All the extra incentives for my recovery were in place, ice water for pain and swelling, a brace to restrict my bodily movement (bending, twisting) and a bone stimulator which helped with the success of the fusion.
Thanks to your expertise, I was able to rebound and continue a normal life relatively pain free. My energy level is back and the pain I was experiencing before surgery is gone. I am now on a plan of walking and swimming to improve my flexibility and strength.
In closing, I want to thank you for your excellent care and commend your entire staff for their efficiency.”
“When my back pain became so severe that getting out of bed was a herculean effort, friends recommended I visit Dr. Jeffrey Cantor. I was fearful about any kind of surgery, but Dr. Cantor took the time to review my MRI with me and discuss options available to me, explain in words I could understand what the procedure would entail, describe the recovery process and ensure me he and his staff would be with me every step of the way.
Having himself undergone back surgery, I was confident Dr. Cantor was outlining a complete patient care program. His staff put that care program into action and never once complained about having to answer my many phone calls asking questions that ranged from the serious to the silly. Thanks to Dr. Cantor’s skill, competence, willingness to embrace technological advances, and compassion I am now back to enjoying life as fully as I did before.
I cannot imagine trusting my life to anyone other than Dr. Cantor.”
“I am writing today to tell you how I appreciate the care and patience of Dr. Cantor’s office.
In short my story goes back to the year 2000. I had spinal fusion; it did relieve the intense pain, but I was not sure why I felt the surgery was not complete. I just dealt with the pain. Eventually I went to a pain management surgery center in 2004. I was told I just need 2 or 3 radio frequencies and epidural injections. I ended with 12 injections. I was then told there are no guarantees. Then I was prescribed pain meds for the next 4 or 5 years. I just got fed up- I decided to get 2nd and 3rd opinions. Two surgeons said either just take the meds or the scar tissue would just come back (and they couldn’t guarantee positive results).
That was until I met Dr. Cantor. He was the only one who said he can help. I was impressed how confident has was. He said, and I quote, “I will you get you off the meds and you will be pain free.” I am on track to achieve that goal! I have been off the meds for 2 months and most of the pain is gone. The whole experience was great. Everything I was told was right. The office is a credit to the medical profession I never knew existed.
Thank you again Dr. Cantor for letting me live a productive and healthy life again.”
CERVICAL & LUMBAR SPINAL STENOSIS
“Dear Dr. Cantor, Basketball has its dream team: Jordan, Bird and Magic. My dream team is led by you and your associates. Through my two surgeries, your team, pre-op and post-op, did not miss the dotting of an “i” or the crossing of a “t.” Like a well-oiled machine, every aspect of my treatment was done with great precision. I can’t thank you and your team enough. Words can’t express my gratitude for a job so well done.”
“I suffered from chronic back pain over two year. I tried chiropractor visits 3 times per week, pain management sessions, epidurals, facet blockers and RFA, not to mention countless prescriptions for pain medication. Nothing seemed to help. Finally, I was referred to Dr. Cantor. He reviewed my MRI and explained my situation in great detail.
He did not immediately recommend surgery however he presented to me that surgery was an option but only when I was ready. He was very detailed about the severity of the surgery and the long recovery. So I went home and thought about it. Four months later I decided that I could not take the pain any longer.
I met with Dr. Cantor and he reiterated everything we had discussed in the initial consultation. He is absolutely correct. It was not a simple operation and the pain was worse during the first 7 weeks of the recovery period. However, three months post surgery I can honestly and surprisingly say I have no pain! I am extremely blessed to have found Dr. Cantor and his amazing team. If your pain can be corrected then this is the team that will make it happen. Thank You for giving me back my life.”
“Took my back problem when most surgeons would not. I had severe stenosis L 2and L3, compression fracture of the L3 that had been glued.L4 ,5 and S1 Fusion. I went to Dr Cantor because a friend told me he was very good. I had severe pain in lower back right thigh and leg. He operated on me and removed a piece of bone that was crushing the L3 root nerve. He then removed the stenosis and fused the L3 and L2 using a spacer no rods or screws The vertebrae are starting to fuse with my bone growth.”
“My symptoms included a rapidly increasing loss of balance and numbness in my fingers. Dr. Cantor quickly diagnosed my cervical spinal stenosis and just as quickly scheduled me for surgery. I felt like I was in capable hands and had a lot of faith in his surgical abilities. Six months later and I am back to how I was before my issues!! Wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t chosen Dr. Cantor…would highly recommend him.”
“C-2 thru C-7 Neck Fusion Surgery 2004 No pain or issues as of 2016 F-4/F-5 Lumbar Fusion Surgery April 2016- Used Ultrasonic technique. No pain after surgery and was able to walk normally the next day pain free. You are never treated like a number, he honestly cares, develops new procedures so his patients have less down time and less discomfort, takes the time with you and no surprises. This Ultrasonic technique he developed is AMAZING…..just like he is!”
“Dr. Cantor operated on me 12/08. I had Major lower back problems. Dr. Cantor is the Michelangelo of spines.”