The UCSF Spine Center brings together experts in orthopedics, neurosurgery and associated specialties to treat spinal stenosis, a condition in which problems in the bone impact the adjacent nerves.

Surgery for spinal stenosis is the most common spinal operation in people over the age of 50. However, spinal stenosis caused by developmental narrowing of the spinal canal may occur in people in their 20s and 30s.

Our doctors have extensive experience treating stenosis. Because UCSF Medical Center is an academic medical center, our patients often have access to procedures, technology and medications that are not yet widely available at other hospitals. These procedures include minimally invasive techniques that allow for more rapid recovery than traditional methods.

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The spine is made up of ring-shaped bones called vertebrae that are strung together like beads along the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that connect with the brain and control much of our movement. Stenosis occurs when the interior of the vertebrae — the spinal canal — is too narrow, squeezing the spinal cord and nerve roots. Stenosis can happen anywhere in the spine but the most common types include:

  • Cervical stenosis in the upper part of the spine in the neck called the cervical spine
  • Lumbar stenosis in the lower part of the spine called the lumbar spine
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Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Spine Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0332
Phone: (866) 81-SPINE or
(866) 817-7463
Neurospine : (415) 353-2739
Neuro-spine Fax: (415) 353-2176
Ortho-spine Fax: (415) 353-4047
Appointment information

Visit UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital