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: Jean, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

I just found out today that I have lumbar spinal stenosis. I was at a spine center having my very first steroid injection, when the doctor mentioned the results of my MRI showing this. At first I was to have a caudal spinal block, but once he saw the MRI results he changed that injection to be more specific as to where my problem is generating from. This diagnosis is scaring me as to what my future holds. All I know is the pain is unbearable! I"ve had back pain every now and then due to what I thought was scoliosis. I actually thought that may have worsened but when he told me this I was shocked. I"ve been in contact with the spine center for pain medications. I"m allergic to all narcotics and the nurse mentioned possible muscle relaxers. I need relief!

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Comment from: Waterdoc, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 06

I am 56 and first was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis about 5 years ago. This began as a tingling in the leg and radiated down to the knee. Stopping and bending for a short time once worked. Then medication got involved, but now the pain is getting unbearable, as my job requires walking anywhere from 3 to 5 miles a day in the facility. I am not a fan of invasive surgery as my wife had 9 back surgeries, and it has not turned out well. I am currently looking into the new laser surgery for this, as it requires a 2" maximum incision and much less down time. The drawback is finding a doctor in my area that is trained for this surgical procedure. The closest is a mere 700 miles from my home. I feel for all those who are going through this as I know your pain, and unless you have or have gone through it, there is no way for another to understand. Hopefully technology makes rapid advancements for spinal diseases like ours. Best of luck to you all.

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