Lateral recess stenosis — overview and treatment

Lateral recess stenosis is narrowing of one of the rear sides of the spinal canal and is a very common type of stenosis. Usually, a related condition like a bone spur or a herniated disc is the root cause of the narrowing. Painful symptoms can occur if the stenosis compresses any of the nerves running through, or out of, the spine. Chronic pain and limited mobility can take you away from your family and the things you love to do — even just walking your dog or running errands. Getting as much knowledge as possible is an important part of finding treatments with the best chance of offering you lasting and meaningful pain relief.

Symptoms and causes of lateral recess stenosis

If you experience neck pain or back pain, you should consult your physician for a precise diagnosis of the underlying cause. Common symptoms of lateral recess stenosis include local pain and pain that travels to the extremities. You can also experience numbness, tingling, headaches, cramping or joint stiffness.

The symptoms of lateral recess stenosis can be caused by these and other conditions:

How to treat lateral recess stenosis

Upon diagnosis, lateral recess stenosis has many effective treatment options. Most physicians will start by recommending a round of conservative treatment options. Exercises to strengthen neck or back muscles, hot/cold compression therapy and pain medication bring many patients relief. If neck or back pain remains persistent, nonsurgical treatments may not be enough. Your physician may recommend that you consider surgery to open up space in the spinal column to decompress the affected nerve.

When it seems like surgery is the only option for true relief, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our outpatient alternative to traditional open back surgery. The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures that require a shorter recovery time^ than open spine surgery.

Our team can help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to learn if you are a potential candidate for our surgeries designed to treat lateral recess stenosis and other conditions.

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