Skip to Main Content

Lumbar Stenosis

Lumbar stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, or lumbar area, characterized by radiating pain, numbness or weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet.

This narrowing of the spinal canal occurs when bone or tissue, or both, grow and reduce the openings in the spinal bones, and then squeeze and irritate the spinal cord nerves.

Our Approach to Lumbar Stenosis

UCSF is home to one of the largest centers in the country dedicated to evaluating and treating spinal disorders, such as lumbar stenosis. Patients have access to the most up-to-date diagnostic imaging techniques as well as innovative treatments that are not widely available. Our team includes world-renowned specialists in neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, neurology, pain management, physical therapy, psychiatry, radiology and rheumatology. These experts work together to personalize a plan for each patient.

Treatment for lumbar stenosis initially focuses on alleviating the associated lower back pain. The plan may include a rest period, pain medications, physical therapy, posture adjustments and weight management. Patients who do not respond to these treatments may require surgery to widen the spinal canal. Our team's expertise in state-of-the-art surgical repair and rehabilitation results in less time under anesthesia, faster recovery and, ultimately, a better quality of life.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-orthopedics

    One of the nation's best for orthopedic care

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.