The term spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal. It occurs mostly in the area of the lumbar spine of older people.
Firstly the clinical findings are uncharacteristic. Dysfunction and pain or an irritation of the sciatic nerve can be caused by very different pathological changes of the lumbar spine. Characteristic fort he spinal canal stenosis is the symptome of Claudicatio spinalis. The patient complains of dragging pain in the front or back of the legs, though he walked only a short distance. The pain is resolved when he is sitting or stretching the upper body. If patients are — in extreme cases — only able to walk less than 100 meter further diagnosis ans therapy is necessary.
The spinal canal stenosis is progressive and often increases in different speeds. After a few years, however, there is usually no more decline. Neurological deficits are rare.