Narrow lumbar canal

Centro de la columna Vertebral: July 3, 2018

Canal lumbar estrecho

Canal lumbar estrecho

The lumbar canal is the space inside the spine through which the spinal cord passes, which ends at the level of the 1st lumbar vertebra, from which a tail of nerve roots travels along the lumbar canal

This canal can narrow and compress the nerve roots for various reasons, spondylarthrosis (degenerative changes of the spine) of a herniated disc that is reducing the canal being one of the most common causes, the presence of osteophytes (bone spurs), hardening of the spinal ligaments, or sliding of a vertebra on another (spondylolisthesis), as well as trauma..


• Lower back pain that subsides when bending forward or sitting.

• Pain, weakness or numbness in the legs, calves or buttocks.

• Burning, tingling, and stinging sensations in the legs.

• In severe cases, bladder or fecal incontinence problems.


The diagnosis is based on a careful clinical history and physical examination, which we complement with diagnostic tests, with MRIs being the most common choice.


Most cases of narrow lumbar canal are successfully treated with non-surgical techniques such as those used at the Spine Center (medication, ozone therapy, physical therapy and nutrition). Severe pain can also be treated with corticosteroids injected into the epidural space.

The most common surgery for the narrow lumbar canal is known as a decompressive laminectomy, which consists of removing the lamina (roof) of the vertebra, which increases the space for the nerves in the lumbar canal. If there are protruding disc herniations, they can be removed.

Patients who need surgical repair on more than one level may require spinal fusion in addition to decompressive surgery. This traditionally involves placing a bone graft or a disc implant. Placement of plates and screws (instrumentation) is used to support the spine and provide additional stability while consolidating the fusion.

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"The information contained in this blog is of an informative nature; it seeks to promote good health habits in the population and by no means replaces medical consultation. Content reviewed and corrected by Dr. Armando Acevedo Mendez, orthopedics and traumatology specialist. Professional license: 602691."

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