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Can Spinal stenosis heal itself?
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Can Spinal stenosis heal itself?


  I had a mri about 6 years ago that showed spinal stenosis in the lumbar region, a more recent mri does not even mention it.  Can spinal stenosis heal itself and go away?
  Thanks
  Dreamer
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Dear Dreamer,
Spinal stenosis can be caused by a few things in the spine.  A disc can bulge from the front of the dural sac, the facet joints can be hypertrophied, the posterior ligament can be large, and a patient can have congenitally short pedicles predisposing to canal stenosis.
The only one thing mentioned above that usually gets better with time is a protruding disc.  These are usually treated conservatively in the early going and shrink away with time.  The reason is that they contain a fair amout of water which the body resorbs with time.
Regardless of the above, the reasons for surgery in spinal canal stenosis depend on a patient's symptoms.  The typical story for lumbar canal stenosis is that of pain and weakening of the legs after walking a certain distance.  After sitting for a period the patient can get up and walk again.  This is called neurogenic claudication and it is an indication for surgery.
Speak to your physician about these matters and see what his opinion is.  
Good luck.







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