A narrowing of the open spaces in the lower (lumbar) spine; Lumbar spinal stenosis can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. Age-related changes are the most common cause.
Symptoms include pain or cramping in the legs when standing for long periods or when walking. The discomfort usually eases when bending forward or sitting down. Treatments include medications, such as anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, injections, and surgery.


How is a lumbar laminectomy performed?

The surgeon makes an incision in your back over the affected vertebrae and moves the muscles away from your spine as needed. Small instruments are used to remove the appropriate lamina. The size of the incision may vary depending on your condition and body size.

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What can I expect after lumbar spinal stenosis surgery?

After surgery, you can expect your back to feel stiff and sore. You may have trouble sitting or standing in one position for very long and may need pain medicine in the weeks after your surgery. It may take 4 to 6 weeks to get back to doing simple activities, such as light housework.

When is surgery needed for lumbar spinal stenosis?

Surgical treatment is indicated when lumbar spinal stenosis causes severe leg pain and constant or progressive neurologic signs, such as numbness and weakness. Several weeks or months of nonsurgical treatments are typically tried before considering surgery.

How long does spinal stenosis surgery take?

The surgery usually takes around two hours but can take longer if it is part of a more complex procedure or if many levels need to be addressed.