Canal stenosis can be caused by a number of conditions, many occurring as a result of the natural aging process. Common causes include:
With age, the body’s ligaments can thicken. Spurs may develop on the bones and into the spinal canal. The cushioning disks between the vertebrae may begin to deteriorate. The facet joints on the spinal column may also begin to break down. All of these factors can cause the spaces in the spine to narrow.
Osteoarthritis – The most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – A chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
Abnormal growths of soft tissue may affect the spinal canal directly by causing inflammation or by growth of tissue into the canal. Tissue growth may lead to bone resorption or displacement of bone and the eventual collapse of the supporting framework of the spinal column.
Also known as spondylolisthesis, spinal instability occurs when one vertebra slips forward on another. When this happens, it can narrow the spinal canal.
If the spinal canal is too small at birth, symptoms of canal stenosis may show up in a relatively young person. Structural deformities of the involved vertebrae can cause narrowing of the spinal canal.
Accidents and injuries may either dislocate the spine and the spinal canal or cause fractures that produce fragments of bone that can penetrate the canal.