Spinal stenosis and leg pain: specific symptoms and treatment options
For some patients, spinal stenosis and leg pain are closely related. Not everyone with spinal stenosis experiences symptoms, but those who do often report leg pain as a complication. In a healthy spine, the spinal canal is wide enough to accommodate the spinal cord and the nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord. When spinal stenosis occurs, the spinal canal and the nerve root exits in between vertebrae can get progressively narrower.
Symptoms like leg pain can occur if the narrowing progresses to the point of putting pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root exiting the spine. If you are dealing with spinal stenosis and leg pain to the point that it’s affecting your everyday routine, learning more about this condition and the treatment options is a great first step in finding the relief you deserve.
What does spinal stenosis-related leg pain feel like?
Patients can experience leg pain and other complications caused by spinal stenosis in a number of different forms. It can present itself in the following ways:
A tingling or “pins-and-needles” sensation
Sharp, radiating pain
Cramping and muscle spasms
Pain caused by spinal stenosis can develop suddenly, or it can develop gradually over a period of time. Many patients find that the leg pain feels worse when they are standing or walking, but feels better when they are leaning forward, sitting or lying down.
What can patients with spinal stenosis do to reduce their leg pain?
Many patients with mild-to-moderate spinal stenosis can manage their leg pain with conservative treatments. These include anti-inflammatory medications, lumbar support belts and even a few days of bed rest. A series of epidural steroid injections may also provide longer-term relief from leg pain.
In more severe cases, patients may need to explore surgical options. Minimally invasive procedures can provide relief to many patients whose leg pain was not improved by conservative treatments and are an alternative to traditional open spine procedures. If conservative therapies haven’t done enough to improve your spinal stenosis and leg pain, USA Spine Care can help you decide on an appropriate next step. Our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional open spine procedures.
Contact us today to learn if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spinal stenosis treatments by asking for your no-cost MRI review.*
Learn more today
If you're living with spinal stenosis in the upper spine and searching for relief, reach out to USA Spine Care for help. Our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to helping people develop the right care plan to reach treatment goals and achieve lasting relief.
Patients can expect recovery to last 4-6 weeks in most cases (depending on the complexity of your condition). People who choose minimally invasive spine surgery recover faster and get back to work sooner than those who choose open back surgery. Read more in the links below: Recovery After a ProcedureWhat to ExpectRecovery Times
Problems from anesthesia.
A deep infection in the surgical wound.
A skin infection.
Nerve injury, including weakness, numbness, or paralysis.
Tears in the fibrous tissue that covers the spinal cord and the nerve near the spinal cord. These tears may require more surgery.
Trouble passing urine, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
Long-term (chronic) pain, which happens after surgery in some cases.
The chance that the surgery won't relieve your symptoms. And even if you get better with surgery, there is a chance that you may get new symptoms in the future.
Death from problems caused by surgery, but this is rare.
^Results are typical, but not guaranteed, each patients experience with spine surgery will differ.
For more information, visit usaspinecare.com/results. The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to serve as a replacement for a medical diagnosis.
*Our MRI review is an informational review of the MRI report that you provide to us and is not a form of diagnosis. A diagnosis and a final determination of whether you may benefit from treatment at USA Spine Care can only be made after you have been physically examined by our medical professionals at USA Spine Care. The MRI review has no value and will not be billed.