Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that occurs as a result of degenerative, developmental, and congenital disorders. Degenerative stenosis, the most common form of spinal stenosis, is a byproduct of arthritic changes in the intervertebral disks, facet joints, and ligaments. Symptoms typically manifest at age 50 to 60 years. In developmental spinal stenosis, narrowing of the spinal canal is caused by a growth disturbance of the posterior elements. Symptoms of congenital stenosis arise earlier in life as a result of anatomic changes and malformations.1

Clinically, spinal stenosis describes a constellation of symptoms that includes leg pain, difficulty with ambulation, and/or neurologic deficit. Stenosis may occur centrally, along the lateral recess and neuroforamina, as a result of degenerative changes involving the disk, hypertrophic facets, and joint capsule; synovial cysts; thickening of the ligamentum flavum; and osteophytic laminae.



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