What Is LSS?
Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a common condition, with more than 1.2 million patients diagnosed and in treatment nationwide each year.1 LSS is a narrowing of the lower spinal canal which may cause pain, numbness, or tingling in your lower back, legs or buttocks, limiting your ability to stand or walk. Usually, LSS is found in people over 50 years of age, and the likelihood of developing LSS increases as we age.
Your spine provides support for your back and body. It also protects the spinal cord, the bundle of nerve tissues that run from your brain to your lower body. The bony column that encloses the spinal cord is called the spinal canal and is made up of ligaments, bones, and discs. In a healthy, open spinal canal, there is enough space between the spinal cord and the spinal canal for the nerves to pass through freely and exit the spinal canal without any restriction.
Due to natural wear and tear on the body as we age, there can be a number of factors that cause the narrowing of the spinal canal including, thickening of ligament tissue, overgrowth of bone (osteoarthritis), or bulging of the discs that create pressure on your spinal cord. This narrowing of the spinal canal is called spinal stenosis, and when it occurs in the lower part of the spine, the condition is called lumbar spinal stenosis.
1 Longitudinal Medicare Database, Quorum Consulting.