Lumbar spinal stenosis (lumbar stenosis) is the number one reason that adults 65 and up have spine surgery today. At Texas Neuro Spine, spine specialists Sebastian Villarreal, MD, and George Galvan, MD, understand that you’re looking for effective answers that don’t involve major surgery. At three locations in San Antonio and one in Kerrville, Texas, they offer cutting-edge minimally invasive lumbar stenosis solutions to stop your pain. Call the office nearest you or click on the appointment scheduler today.
Lumbar Stenosis Q & A
What is lumbar stenosis?
Lumbar stenosis or lumbar spinal stenosis means narrowing of the spinal canal in your lower back. As the spinal canal shrinks, it confines the bundle of nerves running through it. This can cause discomfort, pain, and other symptoms.
You can also develop spinal stenosis in your neck, which is called cervical spinal stenosis, and thoracic spinal stenosis, which affects your upper and middle back. Spinal stenosis is often related to degenerative changes in your spine as you age.
What symptoms does lumbar stenosis cause?
Lumbar stenosis doesn’t always cause symptoms, which is why you might not know about it until your doctor diagnoses it during an MRI or CT scan.
Symptoms can include:
- Back pain
- Shooting or burning pain that radiates down from your hip (sciatica)
- Numbness in legs and feet
- Pins-and-needles sensation in legs and feet
- Leg weakness
- Foot drop, in which lifting the front part of your foot is hard
Spinal stenosis pain is often particularly bad when you stand for extended periods or walk long distances. Symptoms often temporarily recede when you sit and lean forward.
In severe cases of untreated lumbar stenosis, you could lose bladder and bowel control. Men with untreated chronic lumbar stenosis may experience erectile dysfunction.
Leg muscle weakness caused by long-term lumbar stenosis can lead to muscle atrophy, and, in some cases, muscle stiffening.
How do you treat lumbar stenosis?
Lumbar stenosis sometimes responds to conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, or spine injections.
But, if you have ongoing lumbar stenosis symptoms, Texas Neuro Spine may recommend a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pain pump, or minimally invasive surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery requires tiny incisions, often as little as a few millimeters each. This means little blood loss, less infection risk, reduced pain during recovery, and quicker recovery overall. Minimally invasive surgery is also a permanent solution, whereas treatments like spine injections can last as little as a few days or weeks.
During minimally invasive spine surgery, your Texas Neuro Spine surgeon can remove disc material, bony protrusions, or widen your spinal canal in other ways.
In some cases, your surgeon may need to perform spinal fusion to stabilize your spine and prevent recurrence of back pain due to lumbar stenosis.
Texas Neuro Spine dedicates itself to end your lumbar stenosis symptoms so you can enjoy peak quality-of-life and whole-body wellness. Learn more about all the ways the doctors can help by calling the office nearest you or clicking on the online scheduling tool.