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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17977
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My CT scan confirmed that I am suffering from Lumbar Spinal

Resolved Question:

My CT scan confirmed that I am suffering from Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.I have the following Symptoms.Severe Pain in Calf ,Mild Back ache & some times stiff legs.I am not very keen
on taking medications.Do you advice surgery or any alternate treatment?I am 69 yrs old.
Thanking you,
Guru
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 3 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
Are you having any weakness of the legs?
Have you had any evaluation to look for other causes of pain in the calf?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr Love


I do not have weakness in the legs.I get little stiffness And radiating pain while driving( after half an hour my right leg( behind calf ).No pain in left leg.


no swelling,the pain disappears once I start walking.


Thanking you


Gn

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

There are several reasons to consider surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis. The most worrisome and the reason to proceed with surgery most urgently would be if there is any weakness in the legs, so it is good that you are not having any weakness. Weakness is worrisome because it is evidence that there is so much pressure on a nerve that the nerve is no longer carrying messages correctly. There also may be findings on exam that would indicate nerve dysfunction, but the doctor that examined you would be best able to answer whether any of these findings were present. If there is significant pain from spinal lumbar stenosis, then it still may be necessary to perform surgery, but most spine surgeons would rather try non-surgical approaches before performing surgery. Even if it is desired to avoid medicines, then it would be appropriate to consider physical modalities, such as being seen by a Physical Therapist.

Surgery is usually not done for the mild back ache that you describe, but the severe pain in the calf may be due to the spinal stenosis. However, one of the complicating factor is whether the calf pain is coming from the spinal stenosis or whether it is being caused by another problem. Spinal stenosis can cause pain anywhere in the lower back or legs, and it can cause pain that is felt only in the calf, but this is not a common presentation of pain from spinal stenosis. There are many other conditions that can also cause pain in the calf, including local musculoskeletal inflammatory conditions, muscle disorders, or phlebitis, either with or without blood clots. Since the pain in your calf is the only pain that is described as severe, the decision of whether to perform surgery on the spine would be mostly based on whether the calf pain is due to the spinal stenosis. Therefore, it would be appropriate to first pursue further evaluation to be certain that there is no other cause of the calf pain, and then there can be the use of physical therapy before considering surgery for the spinal stenosis.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.

Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17977
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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