Spinal stenosis may refer to central canal narrowing, lateral recess stenosis, or foraminal narrowing. This is typically seen with axial lower back and leg pain associated with walking, especially on an incline or decline. The associated pain frequently radiates bilaterally along the lower extremities and into the ankles. Those suffering from this diagnosis often feel relief with cessation from walking. Numbness and weakness may be present in these patients, with sensory complaints along the distal lower extremities. Many of those suffering will find temporary relief in bending forward due an extension of the narrowing of the spinal canal.
Spinal stenosis is usually diagnosed at the notation of broad-based disk bulging, facet hypertrophy, and osteophytes upon interpretation of MRI or CT scan. Other notable factors include foraminal narrowing or spondylolisthesis.
Most patients suffering from spinal stenosis alone will often have minimal loss of range of motion. When this is the case, non-invasive treatments are utilized including lifestyle modification (posture correction, stretching, etc.), exercise programs, NSAID and neuropathic medications. When necessary, Transforaminal Epidural Corticosteroid Injections may be recommended, as this approach allows for direct access to the area of pathology. As a final option, surgical decompression may be required.