Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Experience

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What is the lumbar spine, and what is lumbar spinal stenosis?

The lumbar spine is made up of five vertebral bodies in the lower back. Nerves coming off the spinal cord travel though the spinal canal and exit the canal through small openings on the sides of the vertebrae called foramina (singular = foramen). These nerves transmit sensations from the buttocks and lower extremities through the spinal cord to the brain and transmit motor signals from the brain to the lower extremities to produce movement of the legs, toes, and joints of the lower extremities.

Lumbar stenosis (spinal stenosis) is a condition whereby either the spinal canal (central stenosis) or one or more of the vertebral foramina (foraminal stenosis) becomes narrowed. If the narrowing is substantial, it causes compression of the nerves, which causes the painful symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, including low back pain, buttock pain, and leg pain and numbness that is made worse with walking and relieved by resting.

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See what others are saying

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: 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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