The vertebral bones form the vertebral column (back bone). The reduction in the size of the spinal canal can compress the spinal cord, nerve roots or blood vessels that supply the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis is common in the lumbar level and rare in the thoracic region.
- tingling of the legs
- "radiation down the posterior part of the leg to the feet."
Plain x-rays may or may not show spinal stenosis. CT (computerized tomography) scans are much more useful for diagnosis. The preferred method of diagnosis is MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for all areas of the spine. The detection of spinal stenosis confirms only the anatomic presence of a stenotic condition. This may or may not correlate with the diagnosis of spinal stenosis which is based on clinical findings of neural disfunction, motor weakness, bowel and bladder dysfunction, hyperreflexia and muscular atrophy.