In most cases, pain is an indicator of an injury of sorts. On the other hand, prolonged and severe cases are a more significant indicator of something more serious.
The human back, for example, is made up of the spine, which has 33 bones stacked vertically, one after the other. The spine is responsible for carrying the weight of the upper body, lifting, and carrying things. As a result, it is under constant pressure which might result in pain. Prolonged and severe back pain might be an indicator of something more severe such as stenosis, but do not worry, as there is an expert on lumbar spinal stenosis in Huntington.
What is lumbar spinal stenosis?
This is a medical condition in which the spinal canal narrows. This can result from injury, fracture, or degenerative conditions that diminish the space inside the opening of the spinal canal. In some patients, genetics may play a role in contributing to spinal stenosis.
The degenerative conditions that are most often responsible for causing lumbar spinal stenosis include:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis
- Bone spurs
- Bulging disc
- Thickened ligaments
- Degenerative disc disease
These conditions cause changes that protrude into the spinal canal or cause misaligned vertebrae, which leads to nerve compression and inflammation.
Stenosis can cause pressure on your spinal cord and on the nerves that run through the spinal cord down towards your muscles. Stenosis usually occurs in the lower part of the human back.
Symptoms that Indicate Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
When the spinal nerves are compressed, you will experience symptoms such as:
- Lower back pain.
- Pain that radiates down your legs.
- Leg cramping when you walk or stand.
- Tingling or numbness in your buttocks and legs.
- Leg weakness or fatigue.
Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis find that their leg pain feels better when they rest or bend forward compared to when they are standing up.
Treatment Offered for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
After reviewing your symptoms and performing an exam, Dr. Kakoulides orders an MRI or CT scan of your lower spine. The information provided by diagnostic imaging is essential for planning your treatment.
Depending on the severity of your nerve damage and symptoms, Dr. Kakoulides may initially treat lumbar spinal stenosis with nonsurgical options, such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and alternative therapies.
If your pain doesn’t improve, he may recommend an epidural steroid injection.
If you get worse, Dr. Kakoulides recommends surgery to decompress the nerves. He has extensive experience performing several decompression procedures, including:
During the procedure, Dr. Kakoulides removes part of the bone and ligaments, effectively increasing the size of the spinal canal and eliminating pressure on the nerves.
Following a lumbar laminectomy, you may need to have a spinal fusion to restore spinal stability.
X-STOP® Interspinous Spacer
Using a minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Kakoulides places the X-STOP between two vertebrae. It safely increases the space between the two bones, enlarges the opening where nerves exit the spinal canal, decompresses the nerves, and relieves your pain.
If you need relief from lower back or leg pain, call George Kakoulides, MD, or schedule an appointment online and let him take your pain away.