In the lumbar spine, the spinal canal usually has more than enough room for the spinal nerves. The canal is normally 17 to 18 millimeters around, slightly smaller than a penny. Spinal stenosis develops when the canal shrink to 12 millimeters or less. When the size drops below 10 millimeters, severe symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis occur. There are many reasons why symptoms of spinal stenosis develop. Some of the more common reasons include congenital stenosis (being born with a small spinal canal), spinal degeneration, spinal instability and disc herniation.
Congenital stenosis happens when someone is born with a spinal canal that is narrower than normal. They may not feel problems early in life. However, having a narrow spinal canal puts them at risk for stenosis. Even a minor back... [continues]
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