Spinal Stenosis Specialist

When patients from in and around San Francisco, California, experience spinal stenosis, Dr. Kenneth Light offers expert surgical treatments to relieve the pain and repair the spine.

Spinal Stenosis Q & A

by Kenneth Light, MD

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the small openings in the bones of the spine, including the sacrum and the vertebrae, become narrow. These small openings provide shelter for the nerves from the spine to travel away from the back and through the body. When these openings begin to narrow, it provides less room for the nerves to pass through and can result in irritation to the nerves and eventually wear away the delicate sheath that protects them. This causes actual damage to the nerves and prevents them from healing naturally.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis begins to produce more pronounced symptoms as the narrowed openings in the vertebrae and sacrum start to irritate the nerves that pass through them. When the myelin sheath that protects the nerves eventually wears away, the patient will experience symptoms including tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and cramps. When stenosis results in neuropathy, the symptoms become quite severe and run the length of the arm or leg. As the nerve damage extends outward toward to the extremities, it also returns to the spine, causing irritation and inflammation.

What Are the Surgical Treatments for Spinal Stenosis?

The most common surgical treatment for spinal stenosis is decompressive laminectomy to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves. In some situations, the surgery may also include spinal fusion to provide additional support to the vertebrae and the spine. Decompressive laminectomy removes parts of the bones or tissues that are causing the spinal canal to narrow and putting pressure on the spinal nerves. Spinal fusion creates a strong connection between neighboring vertebrae, which prevents them from moving independently of each other but provides significantly more stability to the spine. The goal of any spinal surgery is to relieve the pain and symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness. Dr. Light will discuss all the options available to treat spinal stenosis with each patient and determine the best way to address the specific needs of each individual patient.

Accepted Insurance Providers

We accept assignment on all Medicare patients, participating provider organizations (PPO), and Workers' Compensation. However, some insurance companies do cover the doctors' services as an out of network provider.

As a courtesy, we will bill your insurance company for you if you have provided us with the insurance name, policy numbers, address, place of employment and any other pertinent information. You are responsible for all deductibles, co-pays, and charges not covered by your insurance. Failure to submit payment for your portion of your bill may result in referring your account to a collection agency. All co-payments will be collected at the time of service.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield of California PPO
Molina Healthcare
Oscar Health Insurance Co.
United Healthcare PPO

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "I strongly urge anyone with severe back, spinal, or related neurological problems to see this wonderful, brilliant, meticulous surgeon."

    Thomas H.
  • Yelp

    "My wife has been seeing Dr. Light for 5 years now. He has always been kind, caring, and compassionate. I am so grateful that she is under his care!"

    Rosalee R.
  • Vitals

    "I had back surgery and could not have wished for a better outcome... His track record speaks for itself, it was my #1 reason for selecting him. I'm so thankful I did."

    Verified Patient
  • Google+

    "He's the best. 11 years out of surgery and I'm still going strong. He gave me my life back."

    Susanna M.
  • Yelp

    "His office staff were all very professional, pleasant, and caring... Went above and beyond with calling and texting to check up on me before and after my surgery."

    Tammi P.
Kenneth Light, MD
1700 California Street, Suite 340
San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: 415-646-4104
Fax: (415) 673-4840
Office Hours

Get in touch


Kenneth Light, MD
1700 California Street
Suite 340
San Francisco, CA 94109