Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
 
CASE REPORT
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 108-111

Successful operative management of an upper lumbar spinal canal stenosis resulting in multilevel lower nerve root radiculopathy


Department of Neurosurgery, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence Address:
Shearwood McClelland
Department of Neurosurgery, Lahey Clinic, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, Massachusetts 01805
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-3147.143216

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Lumbar stenosis is a common disorder, usually characterized clinically by neurogenic claudication with or without lumbar/sacral radiculopathy corresponding to the level of stenosis. We present a case of lumbar stenosis manifesting as a multilevel radiculopathy inferior to the nerve roots at the level of the stenosis. A 55-year-old gentleman presented with bilateral lower extremity pain with neurogenic claudication in an L5/S1 distribution (posterior thigh, calf, into the foot) concomitant with dorsiflexion and plantarflexion weakness. Imaging revealed grade I spondylolisthesis of L3 on L4 with severe spinal canal stenosis at L3-L4, mild left L4-L5 disc herniation, no stenosis at L5-S1, and no instability. EMG revealed active and chronic L5 and S1 radiculopathy. The patient underwent bilateral L3-L4 hemilaminotomy with left L4-L5 microdiscectomy for treatment of his L3-L4 stenosis. Postoperatively, he exhibited significant improvement in dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. The L5-S1 level was not involved in the operative decompression. Patients with radiculopathy and normal imaging at the level corresponding to the radiculopathy should not be ruled out for operative intervention should they have imaging evidence of lumbar stenosis superior to the expected affected level.


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