Spinal Stenosis: When Is Surgery the Best Option?

February 12, 2015 2:00 PM

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Spinal stenosis is one of the most common age-related back problems. And it isn’t pleasant. It usually results from years of osteoarthritis, a thickening of the body’s ligaments that connect the bones to the spine and a deterioration of the cushioning between disks in the vertebrae – all of which cause the spinal canal to narrow. As a result, nerves that travel down to the legs can become pinched near the bottom of the spine, causing pain and an inability to walk properly.

The condition affects 8 to 11 percent of Americans, mostly those over age 50, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

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