Stenosis of the lumbar spine (spinal back)


Back | Orthopaedics | Stenosis of the lumbar spine (spinal back) (Disease)


Description

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the neck and lower back. While some people have no signs or symptoms, spinal stenosis can cause pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems with bladder or bowel function. Many people have evidence of spinal stenosis on X-rays, but have no signs or symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they often start gradually and worsen over time.

Causes and Risk factors

Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to aging. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves. While some people are born with a small spinal canal, most spinal stenosis occurs when something happens to reduce the amount of space available within the spine.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Spinal stenosis can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms resemble those of many age-related conditions. Imaging tests may be needed to help pinpoint the true cause of signs and symptoms. The type of treatment received for spinal stenosis may vary, depending on the location of the stenosis and the severity of the signs and symptoms. ...