The narrowing of the spinal canal in your lumbar spine, or lower back, is call lumbar spinal stenosis.
Your spine consists of bones (vertebrae) that are stacked on top of each other and separated by spinal discs, which act as cushions. The spinal canal runs through each vertebra, allowing the spinal cord to pass through the bone. When the canal narrows, it puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves branching off the spinal cord.
While lumbar spinal stenosis is not life threatening, severe spinal stenosis can cause significant disability. If you need treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis in the Bay Area, Dignity Health orthopedists can provide the personal care you need. To see one of our experts, use our online Find a Doctor tool or call (844) 560-2508 to request a doctor referral.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
It’s possible to not have symptoms with lumbar spinal stenosis. When you do have them, common signs and symptoms include:
- Back pain
- Foot drop in the affected leg
- Pain relief when sitting and leaning forward
- Pain, tingling, and numbness in the buttocks and legs
- Weakness in the legs
What Causes Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?
Arthritis and degenerative disc disease are the most common causes of lumbar spinal stenosis. Spinal arthritis is when the cartilage lining the facet joints (which connect your vertebrae) begins to break down. Degenerative disc disease occurs when spinal discs start to dry out and shrink. These conditions can lead to bone spurs, which are new bone growths that can potentially narrow the spinal canal.
Degenerative changes in the spine become more likely as you age — about 95 percent of people have them by age 50. Most cases of spinal stenosis occur in people older than 60.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment at Dignity Health
Our goal is not only to ease your pain, but to address it at the source — so you can get back to enjoying a pain-free life. We offer unparalleled orthopedic care for common spine conditions and spinal injuries, including lumbar spinal stenosis.
Our treatment strategies for lumbar spinal stenosis aim to relieve symptoms and limit disability.
For most cases, your Dignity Health doctor will most likely recommend a nonsurgical treatment, such as anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. If nonsurgical methods are not successful at relieving symptoms, spine surgery also an option.
If you need surgery, Dignity Health surgeons in the Bay Area use the latest treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis surgery in San Francisco. Our surgeons helped invent the X-STOP implant for spinal stenosis. To learn more, call (877) 647-1149.
If you would like to further explore your treatment options for lumbar spinal stenosis, make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at one of Dignity Health’s Bay Area hospitals.
Dignity Health is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for lumbar spinal stenosis in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.