Living with moderate stenosis.

i was diagnosed with moderate spinal stenosis after a CT and MRI scan. The scan also showed a central disc protrusion pressing on the nerve. I have been in a lot of pain, I wake up at night with 10 out of 10 pain in lower back and lower right ankle and foot. I have to take prescribed pain killers just to go back to sleep and this is causing me sleep deprivation. I have an appointment with pain management. Has anyone here been able to reduce such problems with pain management treatment instead of surgery? I want to avoid surgery because I read L4/L5 fusion surgery could weaken the L2/L3 disc Area. Because spinal stenosis is progressive I don't want the condition to get worse or spread to the L2/L3 Section. There are several types of surgery that can be performed for spinal stenosis but one surgeon I saw only wanted to perform fusion and it was not even minimally invasive.


  • I have central canal spinal stenosis in my lumbar spine at L4. My surgeon said since it was central that it would be more difficult and lesser chance of relief for the time being, but I decided to go with the surgery. I know this isn't the answer you're looking for but just my experience: I just had an L4 Laminectomy (along with L5/S1 Microdiscectomy) and it is a lot less major than a spinal fusion and maybe you could look into that. There is always an option to see another surgeon for a different opinion and you could possibly ask about the one I mentioned. I am 26 and that is why they didn't do anything more than this type of surgery. My surgeon said he removed as little of my disc as possible and it has already provided relief for me. 
  • I'm so sorry you are dealing with this, I know the pain. I have lumbar stenosis from facet joint arthritis and a bulging disc, it is pinching the S1 nerve. My doctor did not recommend surgery, she said because it is partly from the arthritis which can't be healed with surgery. So I tried Nerve Block shots and they did help, but not fully. I had the 2 sets of shots done in November and I still have some relief. But I still have limited mobility and it will flare up if I over do it in any way. I'm not sure what's right for you, but wanted to just let you know I understand what you are going through. It has helped me to use pillows during sleep. If sleeping on side I hug a body pillow and put lower end between knees. And if I'm on my back I put the a pillow under my knees and another pillow under my feet. I also make sure to sit with a coccyx pillow and a lumbar back pillow, and I avoid bending (use a grabber stick) and lifting at all times. It's not easy, but modifying my life in this way has helped reduce the pain. I hope you can find some relief soon!
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