Spinal Stenosis and Leg Weakness – Minimally Invasive Treatment Options from Laser Spine Institute
Spinal stenosis and leg weakness often go hand-in-hand. Following years of wear and tear, the spinal column can lose its structural strength and narrow, encroaching upon and pressuring the spinal cord and exiting nerve roots. Individuals with spinal stenosis usually experience leg pain, numbness and weakness, which are often collectively described as a burning or prickly feeling that originates in the buttocks and radiates to the feet. Typically, the pain worsens when walking and improves when crouching or lying in a fetal position, possibly because these positions open up the spinal canal in the lumbar region and alleviate the pressure on the nerve roots that branch out to the legs.
The importance of a proper diagnosis
If you believe you might have spinal stenosis, you should see your health care provider to obtain a proper diagnosis. Left untreated, spinal stenosis can result in recurrent pain that hampers your lifestyle. In addition, it can lead to an inflammation of, or even permanent damage to, the sciatic nerve that stretches from the spinal cord to the feet and supplies feeling and motion to the legs. Known as sciatica, this condition is marked by tingling, aching and burning sensations in the lower back and legs.
Once confirmed, spinal stenosis can often be treated with a conservative, non-surgical regimen that incorporates treatments like:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories
- Hot and cold packs
- Low-impact exercise
- Physical therapy
- Restricted activity and rest
However, if your leg pain and weakness are severe or does not respond to conservative treatment, a spinal surgeon might recommend a procedure to alleviate the pressure on the nerves in your lower spine. Laser Spine Institute, the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, offers effective alternatives to open neck or back spinal stenosis surgery. Performed on an outpatient basis using state-of-the-art technology, our procedures involve smaller incisions and pose a much lower risk of infection than traditional open neck or back surgery.
For more information about spinal stenosis and leg weakness, please contact Laser Spine Institute today. We’ll be pleased to provide a no-cost review* of your MRI report to determine your eligibility for one of our outpatient procedures.