What Is Lumbar Stenosis?
Your lumbar spine refers to your lower back. Stenosis occurs when the canal that holds your spinal cord becomes narrower. Lumbar stenosis, then, is a narrowing of the spinal canal in your lower back. Lumbar stenosis can lead to debilitating pain by putting pressure on your lower back’s nerves. It’s one of the causes of lower back pain that forces you to miss work and avoid most physical activities.
Lumbar stenosis affects nearly 20 percent of people over the age of 60, but it’s less likely in younger adults. Nevertheless, it’s still possible for young people to have lumbar stenosis. If that’s your diagnosis, you need treatment to resolve your pain and disability. Dr. Branko Skovrlj at NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in Edison, NJ is an expert neurosurgeon that you can trust to detect, diagnose and treat lumbar stenosis for permanent and lasting relief.
What Does it Feel Like to Have Lumbar Stenosis?
One of the issues with lumbar stenosis is that it typically appears slowly over time. You first may notice back pain that doesn’t seem to be related to an injury.
You should seek the advice of a back doctor early, however, to avoid worsening symptoms that can include:
- Tingling sensations in your legs
- Leg weakness
- Buttocks or thigh pain
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty maintaining an upright posture
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
At the same time, you may have developed lumbar stenosis without experiencing any symptoms.
It may be discovered when you seek treatment at NU-Spine for other, related back problems such as:
- Spinal deformities
- Curvature of the spine
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Slipped disc
- Back sprain
- Stress fracture
[rv name=”Bridgeth” text=”Dr. Skovrlj had done 3 different surgeries. His bedside manner is awesome! He is thorough in explaining anything to you! And let’s talk about his staff! Again Awesome! Love them to pieces! They go out of their way to help you, I can`t say enough about them!”]
What Causes Lumbar Stenosis?
The effects of lumbar stenosis come from the squashing and compression of your lower back spinal cord. Most of this compression is part of the natural aging process and happens due to years of wear and tear on your lower back.
Other conditions that contribute to the development of lumbar stenosis include:
- Lumbar disc herniation
- Bone spurs
- Thickening ligaments
- Nerve inflammation
- Injury or improper surgical procedure
- Bone overgrowth
Even though genetic factors may play a minor role, lumbar stenosis is mostly thought of as a wear-and -ear condition that develops over time.
The most effective steps you can take to try to prevent this stenosis of your lower spinal column include most of the common healthy back tips such as:
- Exercise regularly, using proper from
- Eat a healthy diet to keep your weight within recommended guidelines
- Maintain good posture
- Use proper lifting techniques at all times
What Are My Options for Lumbar Stenosis Treatment?
Following a thorough exam and imaging tests, your New Jersey neurosurgeon takes a detailed history of your symptoms, including other treatment measures you’ve tried. When conservative treatments fail, you need options that only an experienced spine surgeon offers. An accurate diagnosis is vital to address the root causes of your back pain, as lumbar stenosis can lead to medical emergencies.
The best treatment for lumbar stenosis typically is minimally invasive.
Typically, the recommended surgical treatment includes:
- Lumbar decompression, which is a treatment designed to make more room for your nerves
- Laminectomy, the most common decompression surgery for lumbar stenosis, during which parts of the vertebrae called the lamina are partially removed to make more room for your spinal nerves
What Other Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Surgery Is Available?
If a laminectomy is not the right treatment for you, your leading NJ neurosurgeon has a number of other options to prevent pain and reduce the worsening effects of the stenosis.
Some of the procedures that he may perform include:
- Spinal fusion, used to permanently fix two or more vertebrae in place so that the space between them can no longer get compressed
- TLIF, which is a type of fusion using a bone graft to replace the disc and bone that got removed
- Lumbar Foraminotomy, a type of decompression used to enlarge the place where nerve roots branch off of the spinal canal
- Hemilaminectomy, used to remove the lamina of several vertebrae
- Corpectomy to remove an entire vertebra
- Spinal reconstruction surgery, a more radical surgery, used to rebuild parts of your spine if there are serious structural issues causing lumbar stenosis