Lumbar Stenosis: Symptoms & Causes

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Dr. Ronald Tolchin, Medical Director of the Baptist Health Center for Spine Care, explains with a digital 3D model what lumbar stenosis is.
He describes that when nerves are compressed into a spinal canal, that condition is called lumbar spinal stenosis.
The specialist affirms when spinal stenosis advances to a moderate or severe degree, patients can feel numbness and weakness in their legs.

Transcript
Dr. Tilton is now at our 3d model so dr. King you explained to us what we’re looking at here at this BioDigital. Yes certainly so here we are looking at the spine this is a cross-sectional view of the spine, this is where the disc would be, these are some of the bony elements in the back, and then this is the key feature here that’s lighting up in red, this is the canal, so we talked about lumbar stenosis, it’s really narrowing of this canal, this canal should be round but what’s happening here is the disc is bulging back into the canal and causing compression of those nerves and these are the nerves then that come out the side, when these are compressed or all the nerves are compressed in the canal we call that condition lumbar spinal stenosis.> Can I ask you why is it that those patients that do have the lumber stenosis they feel that numbness down their legs and that weakness?.> Yes absolutely, because that’s because these nerves are essentially trapped in a finite space now, it was a wide open space but now they’re being squeezed and when they’re squeezed they lose oxygen and blood supply to the nerves and if I could have the next slide for a second also what happens when the nerves are squeezed they start up here oh in the spine but they go down the leg in the distribution of the nerve, so you can kind of see down the distribution that’s lighting up in red that’s the l5 nerve root for example that’s going in to the top of the leg on top of the foot, and that’s because it’s being pinched up here in the back, and that’s lumbar stenosis essentially, and when it happens to multiple nerves you get feelings on both sides of the legs of this numbness and tingling,- so we can’t happen on both legs simultaneously,?- it usually does when the spinal stenosis advances to a moderate or severe degree then it can happen on both legs.
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