Spine

Lumbar Stenosis

Lumbar (lower back) stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back when bone or tissue or both grow in the openings in the spinal bones. This growth can affect the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord, causing pain, numbness or weakness, usually in the legs, feet and buttocks.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include numbness, weakness, cramping or pain in the legs, feet or buttocks that get worse when you walk, stand straight or lean backward. The pain gets better when you sit down or lean forward. You may also experience low back pain and in severe cases, loss of bladder and bowel control. However, many people don't have symptoms at all.

Treatment

You can most likely control symptoms with pain medicines, exercise and physical therapy. Your doctor may suggest a shot of corticosteroid to reduce inflammation. If your symptoms get worse, you may need surgery to remove bone and tissue that are squeezing the nerve roots.