Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Experience

Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: ROMY, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

I have lumbar spinal stenosis for years. A week ago I decided to have a posterior lumbar decompression surgery on L4, L5 and S1. I have noticed that my symptoms of weakness, numbness, lower back pain and loss of sensation of my left leg are still present. My surgeon tells me it will take about three months for me to fell normal again.

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Comment from: Arkansas traveler, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

I am male, 68 years old. I had back pain and pain across my buttocks, as well as numbness in both legs. For the last five years I worked which involved medium heavy lifting. I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis from an old compression fracture fifteen years ago which had caused occlusion at L-3 and L-4. In interviewing the surgeon, he told me he could eliminate the back pain and numbness of my legs but probably wouldn't help the pain across my buttocks. Immediately after surgery I had no pain in any of the aforementioned areas including the buttocks and it has been five years since surgery and my back is in better shape than in the past twenty years.

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Comment from: Jim, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I had my surgery for my lumbar spinal stenosis on Feb 13th. Today I almost fell off the toilet as I was trying to clean myself. Laugh or cry? I just laughed. My pain shoots like an electrical shock across my lumbar area. It generally hits me below my left knee and sometimes will take me to the floor. I have to bend my knees to blow my nose, and it is helpful if I have something to lean on. God help me if a sneeze sneaks up on me before I have a chance to bend my knees and brace myself.

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Comment from: Carl, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 25

I tried a number of cortisone injections first, but still had pain in my right thigh and limped badly. I had decompression surgery without fusion on July 31, 2008. I can walk at least 4 miles now and the limp is gone. I still have some pain in my right thigh, but it is tolerable.

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Comment from: John Doe, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 18

I recently received my MRI and throughout my entire lumbar region, I have spinal stenosis. All the appropriate surgeries, which would also be covered under my insurance, are being considered. The thing is, personal friends who have undergone these various surgeries rarely indicate satisfaction.

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Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

I'm a 30-year-old female. I just was told in the last few months that I have lumbar spinal stenosis. I also have fibromyalgia. The pain in my back runs down my legs and is so bad that I barely do anything anymore. I have a lot of trouble walking and sitting. About the only thing that makes my back and legs feel better is lying down. I have been trying Gabapentin, and I have been taking Hydrocodone for pain a lot longer than I had the lumbar spinal stenosis diagnosis. Nothing really gets the pain to go away for long.

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Published: July 31

I was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis last year. I have tried to avoid surgery by getting the facet injections, spinal steroid injections and using pain meds such as morphine, hydrocodone and gabapentin. I have gone to physical therapy and had manipulations done by an Osteopathic doctor. At this point my sciatic nerve has been acting up and my pain level even with all the drugs and the doctor treatments are off the charts. I don't have a life anymore and I cannot do any of the things I used to enjoy. I don't know what to do next, probably surgery. I can usually handle a great deal of pain, but this has really gotten to me. I am only 55.

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Comment from: Jim Frank, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 17

I have had some numbness in the left leg, below the knee and sometimes it moves to the ball of the foot. I also have muscle tightness in my right gluteus. I had a laminectomy involving the L4, L5, and S1. My GP had me get an MRI which showed disk protrusion between L3 and L4 of about 5mm. I went to a neurologist and he did a strength test on me and indicated that I should 'suck it up'. He also indicated that I could continue to play golf. Not sure about his diagnosis. My GP indicated that a shot of cortisone would not do much and maybe I should use an inversion table or maybe go for surgery. Any comments would be appreciated.

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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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