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Sue 08-25-2002 12:52 PM

What Exactly is Stenosis?
Hi Everybody:

What exactly is stenosis?

Can the spinal canal narrow by itself due to age (I'm 44).

I understand STENOSIS is a narrowing of the spinal canal. But, due to WHAT? I had a micro-d L5-S1 and still continue to have a numb/burning thigh.

The symptoms seem almost identical to Meralgia Paresthetica.

So, what exactly causes spinal stenosis?

Thank you.


DavyD 08-25-2002 03:32 PM

Re: What Exactly is Stenosis?
Hi Sue,

Spinal Stenosis, particularly lumbar,is a degenerative narrowing of the spinal canal,as you know,but also of the nerve root canals and/or intervertebral foramina.It is caused by bone and/or ligament hypertrophy in local,segmental or generalized regions.

The narrowing results in compression of spinal nerves and nerve roots,causing a constellation of symptoms,including lower back pain,neurogenic claudication and lower extremity pain.

The definition is this, There are many forms of lumbar spine stenosis,The most common is degenerative stenosis,occuring in virtually the entire adult population as a result of the natural process of aging.

Hope this helps,

<IMG SRC=""> to ALL


Had C6 Vertebrectomy,ACDF with Decompression,Titanium Plate and Screws (MRI Compatible) 7th Aug 2002
Own bone from (R) Iliac Crest.
Doing Great!!!

tc128 08-26-2002 12:34 PM

Re: What Exactly is Stenosis?
Excellent reply Davy!

I am caring for someone who has this due to spondylolisthesis and osteoarthitic growth in the facet joints. Also with some disc protrusions as well. It all happened in mid May of this year and I could observe the gradual decrease in her condition week by week, month by month, to the point of near hopelessness in her condition. It is now over over 3 months since the first symptoms, and it seemed to happen just like that. It seems incredulous, but the neurosurgeons said that it is all symptoms of her condition.

Her condition seems to be going from bad to worse. Each week is a new experience in pain and she is experiencing a new level of pain each time. Unfortunatley, spinal decompression AND fusion which is recommended, won't happen anytime this year. Decompression part can be done anytime now, but that only solves half the problem. Getting near despondent here.... tc

DavyD 08-26-2002 03:54 PM

Re: What Exactly is Stenosis?
Hi tc,

It is so much more harder in my opinion to be the carer, as this only opens our eyes as to how fragile the human body can be.(Been there,still am)
I know that idealy Fusion should go hand in hand with decompression (Was this a medical or Insurance decision) but hopefully the decompression will prevent further damage at this point and also offer some relief.

Keep in touch tc and if I can be of any assistance, please holler <IMG SRC="">

<IMG SRC=""> to you and yours,


Had C6 Vertebrectomy,ACDF with Decompression,Titanium Plate and Screws (MRI Compatible) 7th Aug 2002
Own bone from (R) Iliac Crest.
Doing Great!!!

tc128 08-27-2002 12:01 PM

Re: What Exactly is Stenosis?
I am in Canada and our Health Care system is 'supposed' to be all publicly funded. With gov't spending on healthcare shrinking every year, the surgeons have less and less operating time available, and less and less hospital beds are available. "Universal Health Care" is a basic tennant of our health care system. Lately there have been private user pay clinics that offer surgical procedures, but the gov't puts a very tight clamp on what procedures they can offer. This is to avoid having those with money get access to health care faster than those without. This creates a 'two tier' system, and our latest federal election, the opposition's main campaign was to eliminate two tier health care. Needless to say, they lost miserably in the election and the opposition leader lost his bid to stay as opposition leader, the party kicked him out.

Anyways, spinal decompression is the only procedure permitted in the private system, whereas spinal decompression and fusion is performed in our gov't funded hospitals. I assume that it is a way too complicated procedure not to have done in a hospital.

So, a private clinic's neurosurgeon can only offer the first part and can do it basically now, and the gov't funded hospital neurosurgeon can do both, but not anytime this year and a "we'll see when next year" answer, through no fault of the neurosurgeon himself. I fully understand his position.

Recently changed pain meds to emtech-30, basically a Tylenol3 with Codeine. She got a violent reaction to hydromorphone last week and did not eat or drink for two days straight and her BP shot up to 165/101. It took a full week to recover from the side effects of hydromorphone. Don't know what this emtech will do. Still sounds kinda powerfull and full of side effects, too. Was told to take a Zantac with the emtech. <IMG SRC="">

thanks for your support, Davey, I think I will have to lean on your support from time to time. Care giving, I think, is the easy part. Living with the pain is something no human should endure, especially when it is prolonged by gov't cutbacks. She is looking for the same procedure as you have had. spinal decompression and a fusion from bone from the iliac crest with metal plates and screws. thanks TC

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