Approximately 250,000 to 500,000 Americans suffer from spinal stenosis annually, with a higher frequency in the elderly population. These patients may have spinal stenosis resulting from herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, vertebral body fractures, facet joint disease, adhesions from previous surgeries or primary congenital central spinal stenosis. Pain is usually in the lower back and radiates into the legs. Pain is exacerbated with walking or activity, and usually subsides with rest. Pain is even relieved with using a walker or leaning forward onto a shopping cart.
The diagnosis of spinal stenosis is made clinically by your physician. Your doctor will obtain a history and perform a physical examination with special attention to a detailed neurologic and musculoskeletal examination as well as assessing any limitations in movement of the lower extremities. Your physician will most likely order radiological imaging such as X-ray, CT scan or MRI to visualize the degree of spinal stenosis.