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.
Many nonsurgical treatments can eliminate lumbar spinal stenosis pain. Options include:
Surgery is considered for patients who have not gotten relief or whose symptoms have worsened. Surgical options include:
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