Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition caused by narrowing of the spinal canal within the region of the lower back (the lumbar spine).
The spine is made up of bones (vertebrae) that are stacked on top of each other and separated by spinal discs (cushions). The spinal canal runs through the back portion of each vertebra, allowing the spinal cord to pass through the bone. Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when this canal becomes narrowed, putting pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that branch off from it.
A condition like lumbar spinal stenosis is not life-threatening, but, if left untreated, it can lead to disability. If you would like to learn more about treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis in Southern California, Find a Doctor today at Dignity Health.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Some people may not have any symptoms with lumbar spinal stenosis. When symptoms are present, they often include:
- Back pain
- Tingling, numbness, and pain in the buttocks and legs
- Weakness in the legs
In some cases, weakness in the legs can cause a foot drop in the affected leg — a gait abnormality that causes difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. If you experience this, you may drag the front of your foot on the ground while walking.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Causes
The main causes of lumbar spinal stenosis are degenerative disc disease and arthritis. Degenerative disc disease occurs when spinal discs start to shrink. Arthritis in the spine is caused by breakdown of the protective cartilage that lines the facet joints, which connect the bones of the spine. These conditions can create bone spurs that narrow the spinal canal. The majority of people will have degenerative changes in their spine by age 50.
Trusted Spinal Stenosis Treatment at Dignity Health Southern California
Orthopedic doctors at Dignity Health focus on treating symptoms and restoring mobility for people with lumbar spinal stenosis. Initial lumbar spinal stenosis treatment may often include noninvasive therapies, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, and corticosteroid shots. If nonsurgical methods are not successful at relieving symptoms, minimally invasive spine surgery may be an option.
For excellence in orthopedic treatment, visit a Dignity Health Southern California hospital near you today.
Dignity Health is dedicated to providing the latest therapies and treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis in Southern California.