Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Experience

Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: rese91, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I'm 39 years old and have had two surgeries thus far for my lumbar spinal stenosis. To this day, they have no idea what "caused" the issues in my back. I take pain medicine, (the lowest dose) because the doctors believe I "like" it too much. I'm taking Lyrica. I STILL have the pain. My second surgery was two years ago and I had a lumber fusion. Some of the pain is gone. I was told this was "how it was" and to basically get over it. I'm a mom of three, run a business, coach my kids, golf. I cannot stop living. I also cannot continue with the level of pain I'm experiencing. I have lost bladder function on occasion and twice bowel. I see a neurologist next Friday.

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Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 06

I am a male, age 56. I have had low back pain for 10 years. I was diagnosed with stenosis about seven years ago and was advised to have surgery then. Up until six months ago, my doctor and I have been treating it with increasingly (over the years) stronger medicine, physical therapy, epidural cortisone injections, all the standard non-surgical treatments. The last two years I had been having numbness and tingling in my left leg and foot, burning in my toes (both feet), and other symptoms of nerve compression. The worst thing was the sciatica. It got so bad that I could only walk short distances, slowly. I gave up and had spine surgery six months ago. They did a lumbar spinal fusion of L4-L5 and L5-S1. Now, I am sciatica-free. However, six months out, the nerve issues described above continue, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree. I probably went too long and damaged the nerves. The worst thing is that the back pain continues. Now the doctor tells me it's all in my head because he fixed the problem. I still need strong medicine to take away that pain that's “all in my head,” but now the doctor hints that I got to where I "like" the drugs and don't really need them. I recommend that anyone considering spinal surgery force your doctor to definitively locate the cause of the pain before attempting to fix it, then do that again with a second-opinion doctor. The MRI only shows the structural abnormalities, not where your specific pain comes from. You may well have stenosis that is not causing a problem but another malfunction nearby that is causing pain, which repairing the stenosis will not fix.

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Comment from: ann k., 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I had treatment for herniated disc (lumbar spinal stenosis), MRI scan and then deadening the nerve. I had good result.

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Comment from: BillQ, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

I am 60 and have had lumbar spinal stenosis for at least 10 years. I have tried everything short of surgery.

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Comment from: rob, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 27

I'm 32 and have been chronic patient of lumbar spinal stenosis since 16. I am getting that shot in my back, yeah, I hope this epidural works.

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Comment from: Peace, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 18

I have suffered from sciatica for 19 years. I am currently taking anti-inflammatory pills and they help some. Trying to sleep was my biggest problem as I need to change position regularly and could not sleep flat. I noticed that I had the least pain when sitting in a recliner so I tried sleeping all night and it changed my life. I have slept in a recliner for 15 years.

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Comment from: sammy, 55-64 (Patient) Published: March 19

The most humiliating thing about lumbar spinal stenosis is that there's no control over bladder or bowel movements. I don't know when it is going to happen and cannot "hold it” till I get to the bathroom.

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Comment from: Connie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

I had surgery in June 2012, spinal fusion of the L-3, 4 and 5. I would tell anyone concerned whether to have this surgery, try everything else first. I am in extreme pain every day.

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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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