Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treated in Houston, Cypress & Tomball, TX
Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal becomes narrower in the lower back region. Often a result of degenerative changes that occur along with the natural aging process, such as herniated discs and bone spurs, spinal narrowing does not always cause problems or require treatment. However, because the spinal canal houses the spinal cord and a series of exiting nerve roots, uncomfortable symptoms can develop if sensitive nerve tissue is pressured or compressed as a result of the narrowing.
What Are the Signs of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?
In its early stages, lumbar spinal stenosis may not cause any noticeable symptoms. The first sign is often a tendency to lean forward to relieve pressure on the lower back. Over time, some people experience mild discomfort that gradually worsens, leading to:
- Lower back pain
- Burning and tingling sensations that radiate from the buttocks through one or both legs (sciatica)
- Leg muscle weakness and cramping
- Loss of sensation in the feet
- Difficulty walking
In some cases, lumbar spinal stenosis can cause pressure on the cauda equina, a large bundle of nerve roots situated at the base of the spine, disrupting sensation and movement in the lower body. Known as cauda equina syndrome, this relatively uncommon condition can cause bladder or bowel incontinence and constitutes a medical emergency that may require immediate surgical treatment.
How Is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treated?
Unless lumbar spinal stenosis causes cauda equina syndrome or other severe symptoms, it is usually treated conservatively with a combination of physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroid injections. If surgical treatment is necessary, a surgeon may suggest a spinal decompression procedure to create space for the pressured nerves. Some options include a laminectomy, which involves the removal of the entire back section (lamina) of a vertebra, and a laminotomy, which involves the removal of a small portion of the lamina.
Explore Your Treatment Options With a Specialist
If you’ve been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis and need help in managing your symptoms, talk with R. Alexander Mohr, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who practices in Houston, Cypress, and Tomball, Texas. Dr. Mohr offers a full range of treatment options for spinal stenosis and other lumbar spine conditions, and his goal is to avoid surgery whenever possible.
Should you elect to proceed with surgical treatment for your lumbar spinal stenosis, you can feel confident entrusting your care to Dr. Mohr. Throughout his long and illustrious career as an orthopedic spine surgeon, he has contributed to the development of groundbreaking surgical techniques and instrumentation, making spine surgery safer and less invasive.
Request an appointment today to consult with Dr. Mohr at his office in Houston, Cypress, or Tomball, TX.