As part of an arthritic process, joints in the spinal column (facet joints and intervertebral discs) may undergo degenerative changes, the consequence of which may be compression of nervous tissue. This compression may produce a classical constellation of symptoms called neurogenic claudication
Lumbar stenosis is a condition where the space available in the spinal canal is reduced, most often due to a degenerative process
Patients typically present with lower extremity (including buttock) pain and heaviness associated with walking. This pain may improve with rest and flexion of the spine ( bending forward)
Xrays usually reveal degenerative changes and sometimes a full length spinal x-ray will be requested to access for overall alignment. MRI scanning will corroborate the diagnosis and provide a guide to treatment.
This includes non-operative measures including: pain-killers, physical therapy and occasionally corticosteroid injections. Operative indications include: intractable pain, protracted symptoms and precipitous decline in function as a consequence of a worsening neurological deficit.