Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition affecting the nerves and spinal cord in the lumbar region (lower back). It occurs when the spinal canal or nerve passageways become narrowed by the intrusion of matter such as bone spurs, herniated discs, or tissues that formed as a result of an injury or trauma to the spine. In rare cases spinal stenosis is present at birth, but it is most commonly caused by factors associated with aging, like osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include lower back pain as well as weakness, numbness, pain, and loss of sensation in the legs. Oftentimes these symptoms are alleviated with activity modification and gentle stretching and exercise. Many patients feel relief from forward bending stretches that round or arch the lower back, as this action serves to open up the spinal column. Other conservative spinal stenosis treatments include anti-inflammatory or pain medication, physical therapy, and steroid injections.
While non-surgical treatments are often effective in treating symptoms of spinal stenosis, surgery may be recommended for those who experience frequent and disabling pain. Spinal stenosis surgery often involves a decompression procedure, such as a laminotomy or foraminotomy, and is usually performed in a hospital under general anesthesia.
Laser Spine Institute (LSI) can perform laminotomy, foraminotomy and other surgeries for lumbar spinal stenosis, but using minimally invasive techniques that only require local anesthesia and are done in an outpatient setting. These procedures achieve the same outcomes as open back surgeries, but with a much shorter recovery time and fewer side effects since they’re done through an incision that is about a centimeter in length versus 5 inches.
If you’ve tried conservative treatments but are still experiencing pain and other debilitating spinal stenosis symptoms, LSI is here to help you reclaim your active and healthy lifestyle. Contact us today and we will review your MRI or CT scan for free.