Viewer Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Describe Your Experience

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Spinal Stenosis:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis.

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Comment from: bigdog, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 04

I have been living with lower back pain for over a year now, I have numbing in the lower back down my left leg to the knee area. When I had my job and insurance I was going to therapy; sometimes it helped and other times it didn't. I went to a doctor to see if I qualify for disability and I told him I know I already have a bone spur and they took x-rays and found about 6 bone spurs. So as of June 2nd I am still living in pain with my lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: scared, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I have been suffering lumbar spinal stenosis for more than 20 years. I became disabled about 4 1/2 years ago due to sciatica pain and back pain, which were too intense to function as my job required. Every family doctor, 2 neurosurgeons, sports medicine doctor, all said nothing could be done. Even 3 trips to pain management was a waste of time for the pain was not relieved. Now 12 years later with very little relief due to chiropractic care, I am now in more pain, and the sports medicine doctor wants to do spinal fusion surgery. I need something but am scared that this will make pain worse. I can't even walk around my home 2 times for pain is unbearable now, so I am strongly considering this surgery. I am not sure what to do to get relief. I also suffer with intercostal neuroglia that I can hardly breathe for pain, or lay on right side due to intense pain. This, they say, is due to bone spurs bridging in thoracic 7 through 11 vertebra.

Comment from: Buckeyeken, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I am a 55 year old male. I used to get small back pains and take a few Advil to get me through the day. One day at work I slipped down a few steps of a ladder and landed flat footed. Although it hurt, I was still able to work. Pain started to increase a little more for the next few days and my big toe on my left foot was going numb. I was going on vacation for 3 weeks to visit my family and my brother has a hot tub and figured I would just relax in it every day. A few days after visiting with them, I bent over to pick something up and something popped/crunched in my lower back. Instant pain. I could barely walk. I waited a couple of days and went to the emergency room (ER). They said it was lumbar spinal stenosis. First 3 weeks I crawled to get around the house. I was even unable to sit for more than a couple minutes. I couldn't fly back home. I have been stuck here with my family for several months now and am about to have surgery in 10 days. After reading some of these stories I am starting to get worried. I have been on Dilaudid (morphine) for 2 months just so I can function. Then the pain started in my right leg, I can walk for about 20 feet before the numbness starts to affect my ability to stand. I was told the stenosis is severe and is closing in on both sciatic nerves going down my legs. I wanted to get laser surgery, but of course my insurance wouldn't cover it. Wish me luck.

Comment from: Larry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 17

I have developed lower back pain, pain in the back of knee and front of foot because of lumbar spinal stenosis. I was very active until pain slowed me down. One foot is significantly shorter than the other.

Comment from: rchbrmd53, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 27

I was originally diagnosed with degenerative disk disease, the problems being pain in my neck, numbness and tingling down my right arm, numbness in my hands so bad that I couldn't even hold a fork to eat. I had an MRI done with good success. A little better than a year later, I had the same symptoms on the left side. The first surgery covered C2-C5 with spinal stenosis, and the second MRI showed that there was damage to the vertebrae above and below that spot. I ended up having a second surgery which covered C2 to T2. I got relief and went back to work, and was told that should do it. I was taken to the hospital with heart attack symptoms, but it turns out it's my neck again and I'll probably have to have a third surgery. I'm a 53 year old male, and I am very active, but the arthritis keeps eating everything anyway. Before you have surgery done, get a second opinion, and if you do have the surgery, make sure you have a reputable surgeon to do the procedure. Once you have the first one done, it will put pressure on everything above and below where you had it done, so expect more complications in the future. My advice is deal with it as long as you can before you have any procedures done, and do your research before you do, because once you start, there is no end. Good luck to you all.

Comment from: 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

I'm a 36-year-old male, and two years ago, I had a disk rupture in my back while getting ready for work. It was the disk between the L-4 and L-5 region. Sixty percent of the disk ruptured into my spinal column and did nerve damage. I had surgery to remove the bulge but still have severe pain and numbness in my foot and leg, including shooting electrical pains in various parts of my body and swelling in my left foot. I also have nerve damage on my left side. I'm taking narcotics to help control the pain and muscle relaxers to help with the spasms in my back and legs. If it had not been for the loss of feeling in my leg, 100% the day before the surgery, I would have opted to not have it and let my body heal itself. I would not recommend surgery for anyone who does not absolutely has to have it. I hurt as bad today as I did before and there is nothing else I can do about it. And my surgery was done by a neurosurgeon. My condition is so severe that it has kept me from working or having a normal life. Where do you turn when you're told by different doctors that, “You're as good as your going to get?” I have no answers, but to those of you who are hurting and have lost your ability to live a normal life, you're not alone. Good luck to everyone, and just maybe they will come up with a way to stop the pain.


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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Spinal Stenosis:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Symptoms

What was the treatment for your lumbar spinal stenosis?

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