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is stenosis naturally a bad thing to have?

tammycttammyc Posts: 894
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I know for me the stenosis in my neck was severe and gave me many complications to the point where i couldn't do anything and my body would hurt.Now that i had the new mri on my lower back and it said that i have moderate stenosis my doctor tried to tell me that this wasn't something awful.How many people would disagree with that comment?


  • To a point, we all have some stenosis. The issue is fixating on it. I was 20+ when I had weakness in my right leg. I had severe sciatica that went on from there for years, and pain that radiated down my leg. I lived with it for years. No meds, nothing. I just worked, grabbed and lifted what-ever and continued to hurt my back from time to time.

    When I got to the point where I had chronic pain, facets that kept locking and pain that could not be diagnosed as to the cause, but still had weakness in the right leg so when I had the CT Scan. Bingo, severe stenosis. I had pain from it for more than 10 years by then, so chronic pain was caused by not treating the very real acute pain.

    But - until I saw the CTscan, I never knew why I had the pain. If you dont' have any symptoms, then you can have severe stenosis and not have problems and there are plenty of people who have this kind of thing too! It is really a matter of only worrying about those things that you need to, based on the symptoms that present.

    I was told that I have more stenosis on my left side, at the same level and higher, but I don't have symptoms from it. So I don't care! That is the attitude that works for myself.
  • I think what he was trying to convey is that as we age, none of us have textbook perfect spines. Many of us have some stenosis here and there, but if it isn't pressing on any nerves and doesn't cause us any pain, then we just ignore it.

    Most of us also have a bulging disc here and there, but it isn't enough to matter. If doctors just went on MRIs, rather than also relying on the patient's history and symptoms, there would be many more spine surgeries.

    Try to just put it out of your mind.
  • Thats fine ,that's what i want to find out. lol.
    i have had lots of pain in my lower back and very tight muscles and numbness going down my legs.When i saw the mri results and it said moderate stenosis i realized that was the reason for my problems and now i have something to work with.I just know how bad the stenosis got in my neck and how bad i felt by it and i don't want to go down that road again. I just wanted to know if its like that for many people?I'm open to all points of view. :D
  • Tammy,
    I was researching looking for something else and came across this article. I then came back here remembering your post but unfortunately didn't realize you were asking about lumbar stenosis. So I will post the link anyway, as it may help someone else reading your thread. I am sure on the side of the page is links for lumbar stenosis as well. AS the others have said many people have stenosis but they are not symptomatic. So in your case where it is symptomatic the answer is not to just ignore it. I know your having a rough go with getting help from the doctors but you know that you have pain and something isn't right with your body. Keep looking and hopefully the puzzle will fit together soon for you.

  • Hi Tammy
    As far as lumbar stenosis, in my opinion is better to tolerate whatever pain you are having. Have you had any epidurals in that area. If you are having a lot of leg and buttock pain , then there might be a impingement of the sciatic nerve. I have several palaces with moderate stenosis, some hurt and others don't. You know from experience with you cervical problems that surgery can cure almost all your pain , or as you know , leave a lot of other issues.
    The epidurals I had, at least put off my lumbar fusion for a few years, which by the way, I have not had any lumbar pain since the surgery in Nov 07, but everyone's bodies and reaction to surgery is different.
    Just listen to your body and your experience and follow up with your doc and if your not satisfied.... Get a second opinion
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