Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, known as the lumbar area. This usually happens when bone and/or tissue grow in the openings within the spinal bones, thus squeezing and irritating nerves that branch out from the spinal cord. This is most often caused by changes that occur as people age.
While most people aren’t severely disabled, lumbar spinal stenosis can cause pain, numbness or weakness, most often in the legs, feet and buttocks.
In severe cases, it may cause loss of bladder and bowel control. Symptoms may be severe at times and less severe at other times. For example, pain may worsen when you walk, stand straight or lean backward but get better when you sit down or lean forward.
To determine if you have lumbar spinal stenosis, we’ll ask questions about your symptoms, do a physical exam and order imaging tests such as an MRI, CT scan or X-rays.
The good news is you can most likely control mild to moderate symptoms with over-the-counter pain medicines, exercise and physical therapy. You may also require a spinal shot of corticosteroid to reduce inflammation.
Lumbar spinal stenosis surgery is recommended if symptoms get worse or if they limit your activities.
“Lumbar lordosis is the sway in your lower back and it is critical in determining how you stand. There has been a lot of research and mathematical equations to determine how much lumbar lordosis we need. It is based on your pelvic shape and it is different for every person. The amount of lumbar lordosis is one of the things we monitor, check and plan for every time we do a surgery.” Dr. Avramis
If you or a loved one suffers from spinal pain, you owe it to yourself to call Southwest Scoliosis Institute at 214-556-0565 to make an appointment.