Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve entrapment and subsequent clinical manifestations. The constellation of symptoms includes leg and back pain, neurogenic claudication, difficulty with walking, and other possible complications.
Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar region, in which the surrounding osseous and soft tissue structures lead to nerve compression  . This condition is either congenital  or secondary to a degenerative process, trauma, infection, or surgery . LSS commonly affects the aging population and has a slight predilection for males .
The clinical presentation, which is insidious, initially consists of backache but eventually progresses to include worsening pain, fatigue, weakness, and numbness of the leg(s) . Specifically, patients describe symptoms such as tingling, burning, cramping, fatigue, and stiffness of the lower extremities. Moreover, the leg pain is most often bilateral and radiates distally, particularly with exercise .
As evident in the majority of cases, neurogenic intermittent claudication is the most predominant sign attributed to LSS  . This manifestation is produced and worsened by walking or standing but alleviated with sitting or lying down on the side  . Squatting and bicycle riding may also provide relief since flexion of the trunk leads to widening of the lumbar canal . As the disease advances, the patient is likely to adopt a stooped posture .
LSS in the younger population  may cause radicular symptoms consisting of unilateral neurogenic claudication due to stenosis of the foraminal or lateral recess canal . These patients experience severe leg pain that is worsened with lumbar extension .
Excruciating leg pain, paresthesia, and difficulty with ambulation are all likely sequelae in patients with LSS. Additionally, other possible complications include neurogenic bladder and/or abnormal bowel function   and nocturnal leg cramps .
On visual inspection, the patient may have a stooped posture. Furthermore, examination of the lower back reveals limited extension . Additionally, a neurological assessment may show absent or reduced ankle reflexes as well as sensory deficits .
Entire Body System
- Nocturnal Leg Cramp
Additionally, other possible complications include neurogenic bladder and/or abnormal bowel function and nocturnal leg cramps. Physical exam On visual inspection, the patient may have a stooped posture. [symptoma.com]
Nocturnal leg cramps: a common complaint in patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis. Spine. 2009 Mar 1;34(5):E189–94. [PubMed] [Google Scholar] 29. Inui Y, Doita M, Ouchi K, Tsukuda M, Fujita N, Kurosaka M. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
In addition to pain, leg symptoms can include fatigue, heaviness, weakness and/or paraesthesia. Patients with LSS also can report nocturnal leg cramps and neurogenic bladder symptoms. [physio-pedia.com]
Patients presenting with the above symptoms should be evaluated by their personal history, clinical picture, physical exam findings, and confirmatory studies. It is important to note that the severity of the clinical presentation does not usually correspond to the degree of stenosis .
The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends against routine imaging for low back pain unless there are risk factors for infection, malignancy, or other diseases  . However, the traditional workup has included spinal radiography as the initial test. In patients with LSS, this modality is likely to reveal abnormalities such as degenerative changes in the disc or vertebrae, or other disease processes .
A spinal computed tomographic (CT) scan provides visualization of the canal and allows for accurate measurements of its diameter . It may demonstrate narrowed canal with impingement by surrounding structures resulting in a "cloverleaf" or the pathognomonic "trefoil" appearance. To improve sensitivity, intrathecal contrast can be used but this is associated with risks.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the preferred study for diagnosis of LSS, is useful in the assessment of the spinal cord and associated soft tissue structures such as the cauda equina, epidural fat, intervertebral discs, etc. . Additionally, this test helps rule out differential diagnoses. Specifically, LSS has characteristic appearances on T1 and T2-weighted images.
- Schmorl's Nodes
Schmorl's nodes (SNs) are described as vertical herniation of the disc into the vertebral body through a weakened part of the end plate that can lead to disc degeneration. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Classification of Schmorl’s nodes of the lumbar spine and association with disc degeneration: a large-scale population-based MRI study. Osteoarthr Cartil. 2016; S1063–4584(16)30059-0. [scoliosisjournal.biomedcentral.com]
Finally, the benefits of surgical treatment versus nonsurgical treatment is ultimately inconclusive because of the nature of data collection, inconsistencies with the clinical definition of LSS, and a lack of standardized treatment guidelines. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
These symptoms prompt people to seek treatment. One option for treatment is surgery. Other treatment options include physical therapy, exercise, braces and injections into the spine. [doi.org]
Radiological findings were mainly referred to for diagnosis, and clinical symptoms, age, radiological findings, and medical history were regarded to be important for prognosis. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
The prognosis of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis may vary, but is good with early diagnosis and treatment The disorder can be difficult to prevent due to the risk factors increasing with age. [dovemed.com]
The etiology of the condition is understood in only 75% of cases. There have been no prior reports of this condition following lumbar spine surgery carried out under hypotensive anesthetic. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
The etiology is unknown but it is seen in achondroplasia 2. Central canal narrowing is the pertinent feature - various values have been proposed (AP mid-sagittal diameter 2,3. [radiopaedia.org]
Etiology Primary stenosis is uncommon, occurring in only 9% of cases. [emedicine.medscape.com]
Congenital lumbar spinal stenosis is a type of spinal canal stenosis and has a different epidemiology with less severe degenerative change compared to acquired/degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. [radiopaedia.org]
Epidemiological data suggest an incidence of 1 case per 100 000 for cervical spine stenosis and 5 cases per 100 000 for lumbar spine stenosis. Cervical myelopathy in patients over 50 years of age is most commonly due to cervical spine stenosis. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
This report is the first focused on the epidemiology of CSM on a national scale. [doi.org]
Introduction Narrowing of central or lateral lumbar spinal canal caused by degenerative joint disease leads to compression of nerve roots Epidemiology middle-aged or elderly Presentation Symptoms back pain and referred buttock pain neurogenic claudication [step2.medbullets.com]
For this reason, the pathophysiology must be considered when selecting the suitable surgical procedure. [doi.org]
When the vertebrae extend back, the spinal canal and neuronal foramina naturally become narrower, and in flexion, become significantly wider. 14 This movement is a contributing pathophysiological cause of neurogenic intermittent claudication, which can [practicalpainmanagement.com]
This article reviews the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of lumbar spinal stenosis in adults over age 50 years. JoAnn Deasy is an adjunct professor in the PA program at Touro University California in Vallejo, Calif. [journals.lww.com]
It resists excessive separation of the adjacent vertebral lamina and prevents buckling of the ligament into the spinal canal during extension, preventing canal compression. [physio-pedia.com]
Can lumbar spinal canal stenosis be prevented or avoided? Lumbar spinal canal stenosis cannot really be prevented because it seems to be a part of getting older. [familydoctor.org]
Management and Treatment of Spinal Stenosis Doctors are still investigating the most effective ways to prevent or delay spinal stenosis. [brighamhealthhub.org]
The prominent epidural fat could have prevented rapid disbursement of the injected fluid which could have further served to propagate the pressure increase throughout the epidural compartment. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
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