The lower back (or lumbar spine) experiences a lot of wear and tear. Consequently, the spinal canal narrows and causes lumbar spinal stenosis.
When this narrowing occurs, it puts pressure on the nerves in your spinal column, which leads to pain in your back and legs. Leg numbness and weakness may also occur.
Along with normal wear and tear on your spine, your discs, the jelly-like cushions between your vertebrae, begin to dehydrate. This dehydration causes your discs to degenerate, weaken, and eventually flatten.
Because the disks no longer fill the space they once did, your spine settles, putting more pressure on your joints and shrinking the spinal column. This degenerative process leads to arthritis.
Arthritis degenerates the cartilage in your joints, and your body sometimes responds by promoting bone growth, which causes spurs. These spurs can grow into the spinal column, where they create and complicate spinal stenosis.
When you have lumbar spinal stenosis, you may experience more than just back and leg pain. Some of the most common spinal stenosis symptoms include:
There is no cure for spinal stenosis. In mild cases, Dr. Shifflett may recommend non-surgical approaches for spinal stenosis to manage your pain and minimize functional impairment. In more advanced cases, he may recommend surgery.
Depending on your case, Dr. Shifflett may advocate for a certain type of spinal stenosis surgery. He may take a non-fusion approach and perform a laminectomy. Available in a variety of minimally-invasive procedures, laminectomies involve removing the bone spurs, bone, or ligaments compressing your spinal column and nerves.
If herniated discs impact your lumbar spinal stenosis, Dr. Shifflett may opt for a microsurgery to provide relief.
In advanced cases of lumbar spinal stenosis, he may suggest one of following three types of spinal fusion surgery:
After you receive a spinal stenosis diagnosis, seek an expert’s opinion. Use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment or call the office today.