Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Experience

Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: BadBack4Life, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

I had my first back problem at 17. I have had many surgeries, therapies, procedures for the past 30 years. At age 49 I was finally properly diagnosed with congenital spinal stenosis. I am missing several discs and my surgeons say my vertebrae have rubbed away so much my pain sensors are gone. I do not have much pain anymore, but I do get dizzy and pass out due to the pressure on my spinal cord. When that starts happening I have to have surgery or I will die, according to my doctors. I have times when standing or sitting is impossible, so I move my body a lot. I have stenosis in every level of my spine. I had a spinal cord brain injury due to this condition, but I consider myself lucky to be alive (I almost died twice this year). I exercise every day, do not use drugs (use opiates only for a short time after surgery), watch my diet and weight, and try to swim as often as I am able to. I do my physical therapy daily and plan my day around my spine issue.

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Comment from: reed, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I was diagnosed with stenosis in the canal that holds the sciatica nerve, last year. I'm in varying pain from 2001 until now, but told it was just my imagination. Weird thing is, I'm 35, and having these problems. Along with the numbness and shooting pain, instead of losing control of bowels and bladder, mine seize when flare ups occur. This leads to multiple urinary tract infections (UTIs). Lots of tripping and twisted knee or ankle since I have to guess where my foot is and where the balance is. I'd like to be as active as I once was, but it seems the more I exercise, the more severe the flare ups. Good to see it's not just me, even thought I'd never wish it on another person.

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Comment from: Patty, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I am a 55 and have had spinal stenosis, budging and protruding disc problems for about 10 years now. I also have inoperable non-cancerous cysts on the nerve root of my spine. I have taken over the counter medications (helped for a little while), done injections in the back (no relief at all), and have been on pain medications for several years (provides some relief but not much). Surgery is going to be my next option. I too was having problems with incontinence. Once I started hurting really bad, I could not hold it in long enough to get to the bathroom. Needless to say I was always getting embarrassed. My general physician referred me to a urologist who put a Medtronic bladder stimulation system in. This stopped me from having those embarrassing situations. So for those of you having problems controlling your bladder, I urge you to check into this. I really hope this is a helpful tip for those needing it. I was so relieved when I got mine. The only way I get relief from my pain is to keep changing positions, from walking to sitting to laying, etc. As far as sleep goes what is that! I am up 6 to 10 times a night. I wouldn"t know what to do if I could sleep a whole night through.

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Comment from: depunkin, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I"m 49 and have suffered with pain since my early 20s, occasional at first. Since my late 30s it"s been 24/7. At 44 I was finally diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis. I was told this was caused by the early onset of arthritis. I just recently had surgery. My stenosis was severe and 4" of bone was removed to release the pressure on the nerves. I also had to have fusion of L3 through S1. My prognosis is good. I"m still in a tremendous amount of pain but was told it would get better in 2 to 3 months. I"m looking forward to living with no pain and no more opiates! Hang in there. There is light at the end of a long painful tunnel.

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Comment from: jhonni, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

First surgery was to "clean out the debris" from disks L5 S1 imploding; left me in bad state. About 4 years later second surgery due to spinal stenosis, took up to 2 years just to walk a few blocks. Eight years later I am still in chronic pain and gravity is my enemy. I cannot carry more than 5 lb. a few blocks before the pain really kicks in. I have tried everything but to no avail. I have been forced to treat pain with opiates when nothing else will get me out of very severe pain. My lower left leg and foot can balloon and right buttock feels like I was shot with an arrow. I am only 56. Is this what I am going to have to put up with for rest of my life!

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Comment from: Wilhelm, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 23

In 1988 I had back surgery due to ruptured disc; after surgery my diagnosis was failback. I have lumbar spinal stenosis with radiculopathy, with numbness of bilateral legs and feet. My right foot is totally numb. About 3 months ago I have had sciatica, it is the most painful thing I have experienced. It feels like a lightning bolt has struck me in both legs. I am unable to walk for long distances and unable to sleep. I have had to live with chronic back pain since a young man, and I would not wish this on anyone. Thank you for letting me share this. Good luck to all that have this diagnosis, one day we will be pain free.

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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, therapy, or medication did you receive for lumbar spinal stenosis?

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