Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Learn More

Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when injury or age leads to a narrowing of the space within the spinal column of vertebrae in your lower back. The result can be pain and difficulty walking.

Discs are doughnut-shaped, spongy cushions that fit between each vertebra to absorb shock and tie the vertebrae together to ease bending and twisting.

There are five discs in the lumbar area of the spine — running from below your last rib to the pelvis. They are made of cartilage that holds a jellylike substance. If that jellylike substance oozes out of the disc, called herniation, it can cause stenosis, putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

Other causes of lumbar spinal stenosis include bone spurs on the vertebrae or overgrown ligaments in the spinal column.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

  • Back pain
  • Burning pain from the buttocks into the legs
  • Sciatica — an electric-shock like pain down the leg.
  • Pain, numbness or tingling in the legs that worsens with walking and improves with sitting down or bending forward.
  • Foot drop (weakness in the foot that causes it to slap down while walking)
  • Bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Many nonsurgical treatments can eliminate lumbar spinal stenosis pain. Options include:

  • Cold/heat therapy
  • Therapy to help you better understand and manage your pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Mental health therapy to help you cope with your condition
  • Injections to reduce swelling around a nerve

Surgery is considered for patients who have not gotten relief or whose symptoms have worsened. Surgical options include:

  • Surgical removal of the cause of your stenosis — whether a herniated disc, overgrown ligament or bone spurs — can ease pressure on the nerves and help relieve pain. Minimally invasive surgery is often an option for this procedure.
  • Surgical fusion to stabilize the spine, which can be performed as a minimally invasive procedure, also can reduce pain and restore function.

Care That’s Focused on You

  • We offer same-day appointments and Saturday hours.
  • No referral is needed.
  • With 11 offices in Louisville and surrounding areas, including Southern Indiana, we’re close to home or work.
  • Norton Neurosciences & Spine Rehabilitation Center is the only center in Louisville dedicated to outpatient neurological and spine rehabilitation.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center offers free classes and support to patients and their families.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free MyNortonChart account.

Why Norton Neuroscience Institute for Your Spine Care Services

  • Our experienced team includes 11 board-certified neurosurgeons, 12 advanced practice providers, neuro-spine specialized rehabilitation therapists and pain management specialists.
  • We are nationally recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 100 great neurosurgery and spine programs.
  • We offer comprehensive care ranging from nonsurgical treatments to the most advanced surgical technologies, including minimally invasive approaches and robotic-assisted surgery.
  • Surgery is considered only after trying noninvasive treatments.
  • Our physicians and advanced practice providers are skilled in pinpointing your diagnosis, offering the right care and working to get you back to feeling yourself.

Related Stories

Behavior changes in dementia patients: Tips for caregivers
How to help a loved one cope with dementia-related decision-making changes
Deep brain stimulation surgery helps Parkinson’s patient get her life back
Migraña vs. aneurisma: Las diferencias y los peligros

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.