How does a neurosurgeon recognise lumbar spinal stenosis?

Physical examination

In addition to listening to the patient’s complaints and performing a thorough neurological examination, the neurosurgeon will carry out a medical imaging procedure. MRI of the lumbar spine is the first examination of choice and generally shows the abnormality in great detail. Additionally, a CT scan may be performed to obtain a better understanding of the patient’s bone structures.

Normal person

Normal person

Person suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis

Person suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis

Diagnosis of a lumbar spinal stenosis
Diagnosis of a lumbar spinal stenosis

Finally, the surgeon will have to rule out the possibility that the patient’s discomfort and other symptoms are caused by a vascular disorder in the patient’s leg, since such a disorder presents with the same symptoms. This is easy to determine in a physical examination, by palpating the legs and feet. If it is hard to feel a pulse in the legs and feet, an additional peripheral vascular examination will have to be performed first.

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