Spinal Stenosis Facts

photo of healthy spine vs. spinal stenosis

  • One of the most common causes of back pain and neck pain is disc degeneration.
  • Over time, the discs in the spine may harden and thicken, pushing into the spinal canal. The narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal is known as spinal stenosis.
  • Symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain or numbness in the back and/or legs, as well as cramping and weakness in the legs. Symptoms may worsen with prolonged standing or walking.
  • Non-surgical treatments of lumbar spinal stenosis may include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and spinal injections, or "blocks," used to relieve symptoms of pain. These treatments do not correct the spinal canal narrowing but can provide pain control and improved life function.
  • Surgery may be advised for patients whose pain cannot be relieved by non-surgical treatment methods. The goal of the surgery - which is termed "lumbar decompression surgery," or "laminectomy" - is to open up the bony spinal canal to improve available space for the nerves.

Contact Us

Department of
Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering

1211 Union Ave. Suite 520
Memphis, TN 38104

Pat Goedecke
Phone: (901) 448-5879
Fax: (901) 448-3208
Email: pgoedecke@uthsc.edu

Campbell Foundation Education Office
1211 Union Ave Suite 510
Memphis, TN 38104

Resident Program

Renee Poe
Education Coordinator
Phone: (901) 759-3275
Email: rpoe2@uthsc.edu

Fellowship Program

Rosemary Bankston
Education Coordinator
Phone: (901) 759-3274
Email: rbanksto@uthsc.edu