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Spinal canal narrowing in the lumbar spine

As a result of pressure and degeneration (wear and tear) of the intervertebral disc with loss of height, the spine may become unstable. The body tries to restore spinal stability by supporting reactions. These lead to the so-called spondylarthrosis (thickening of the joints) and spondylosis (support of the vertebral bodies) with the consequences of a narrowing of the spinal canal. In addition, the disc may protrude into the spinal canal and the yellow band can thicken. All three components will lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal, the so-called spinal stenosis. The nerve roots then have less room and are being depressed (compressed). This causes pain and neurological deficits including paralysis and bladder dysfunction.

Leading symptoms are back pain radiating to both legs, with or without neurological deficits. It is often a relief to bend forward, briefly stop or to sit down. Stopping in itself is often not enough. The trail is often shortened considerably.

Treatment measure is for instance (if conservative therapies are exhausted or there are neurological deficits) an extension of the spinal canal with minimally invasive techniques with or without additional stabilizing procedures, as coflex (dynamic U) or internal fixator. This applies primarily to relieve i.e. to decompress the nerve. By taking away the pressure the nerves will relax and the symptoms regress.