The term lumbar spinal stenosis can refer to one or more of the following anatomic states:
- Narrowing of the intraspinal (central) canal
- Narrowing of the lateral recess
- Narrowing of the neural foramen
This topic will focus on the pathophysiology, clinical features, and diagnosis in regard to stenosis of the intraspinal (central) lumbar canal. This condition, most commonly caused by degenerative bone disease, is increasingly recognized as a cause of disability in the aging population [1,2].
Lateral recess and neural foraminal stenosis can give rise to lumbar radiculopathy. Lumbosacral radiculopathy and general issues related to degenerative bone disease and back pain are discussed separately. The prognosis and treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis are also discussed separately.