Stenosis means narrowing of anything that is tube-like, as in your spinal canal. The narrowing is due to thickening of some of the ligaments within the canal in combination with disc bulging and facet joint enlargement from arthritis. The result is compression of all the nerves at that level along with their blood supply.
This problem develops slowly over time and is an age-related. Most patients are in their 60’s and beyond, but occasionally younger patients will have this. The main symptoms can include pain, weakness or fatigue, and numbness or tingling that radiates down the legs when standing or walking. These symptoms are relieved by bending over or sitting down. In fact, many patients will have no symptoms at all when sitting. Simply standing still once the symptoms develop will not get rid of them. If the symptoms go away with standing still then we start to think it may be due to arterial insufficiency. Many people have back pain as well but the main complaint is the leg symptoms.
The symptoms usually develop slowly but can have a sudden onset after a fall, a long car or plane ride or playing a lot of golf.