Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD, Spine Surgeon
Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal in the lower back narrows. This narrowing occurs when the growth of bone or tissue reduces the size of the openings in the spinal bones. The narrowing may squeeze and irritate the nerves that exit the spinal cord to different parts of the body. It may squeeze and irritate the spinal cord itself. Eventually, the narrowing may cause pain, numbness, or weakness. This is most often felt in the legs, feet, and buttocks.
The changes in the shape and size of the spinal canal are often a result of the aging process. For example, the connective tissues (ligaments) may get thicker, or the joint disease called osteoarthritis may lead to the growth of bony spurs that press on the spinal cord.
These conditions can lead to problems that narrow the space in the spinal canal.
Symptoms of Lumbar Stenosis?
If the spinal cord or nerves become squeezed, symptoms may include:
The intensity of your symptoms may be more or less at different times. Many people do not have symptoms at all and will not require treatment.
The most common surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis is a laminectomy, which relieves pressure on the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots. Laminectomy removes part of the vertebra (bone and/or fibrous tissue) to create space for nerves. In many cases, spinal fusion will be done at the same time to stabilize the spine.
Dr. Haid assesses the use of Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures where ever they may be appropriate. His experience in the area of lumbar disease is unexcelled. If you want to learn more about Dr. Haid's contribution to spinal surgery, you may wish to visit the Patents and Innovations or the Teaching the Next Generation areas of this website.