Orthopaedic Surgery » Patient Care » Spinal Stenosis Facts

Spinal Stenosis Facts

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  • One of the most common causes of back pain and neck pain is disc degeneration.
  • Over time, the discs in the spine may harden and thicken, pushing into the spinal canal. The narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal is known as spinal stenosis.
  • Symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain or numbness in the back and/or legs, as well as cramping and weakness in the legs. Symptoms may worsen with prolonged standing or walking.
  • Non-surgical treatments of lumbar spinal stenosis may include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and spinal injections, or "blocks," used to relieve symptoms of pain. These treatments do not correct the spinal canal narrowing but can provide pain control and improved life function.
  • Surgery may be advised for patients whose pain cannot be relieved by non-surgical treatment methods. The goal of the surgery - which is termed "lumbar decompression surgery," or "laminectomy" - is to open up the bony spinal canal to improve available space for the nerves.

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