9 doctors weighed in:

What is the prognosis for lumbar stenosis with bulging discs at l4/l5 and l3/l4 with spinal cord effacement and bilateral facet joint hypertrophy.

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roger Frankel
Neurosurgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: Mixed

Facet hypertrophy is a common change as people age; the amount of joint enlargement is more important than the fact that it is present.
Stenosis is an issue if it is symptomatic. Weight control and exercise can help. Surgery can help in cases that don't respond to other treatment. The spinal cord usually ends at l1-2, so if it truly goes down to l5, there are other issues that need to be addressed.

In brief: Mixed

Facet hypertrophy is a common change as people age; the amount of joint enlargement is more important than the fact that it is present.
Stenosis is an issue if it is symptomatic. Weight control and exercise can help. Surgery can help in cases that don't respond to other treatment. The spinal cord usually ends at l1-2, so if it truly goes down to l5, there are other issues that need to be addressed.
Dr. Roger Frankel
Dr. Roger Frankel
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Dr. Scott Smith
Orthopedic Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: Depends:

Can be very problematic with leg and back pain requiring treatment.
It is almost normal for all human beings to have some l5/s1 and l4/l5 facet arthritis and disc disease. Rarely requires treatment more than core exercises, nsaids, back rehab and other conservative/ fitness training.

In brief: Depends:

Can be very problematic with leg and back pain requiring treatment.
It is almost normal for all human beings to have some l5/s1 and l4/l5 facet arthritis and disc disease. Rarely requires treatment more than core exercises, nsaids, back rehab and other conservative/ fitness training.
Dr. Scott Smith
Dr. Scott Smith
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1 comment
Dr. Lisa Rankin
Avoid the use of narcotic pain meds as much as possible as you may alter the way your body responds to pain and will not see the benefit from the therapeutic interventions. If there are no objective neurologic findings like weakness or significantly abnormal nerve conduction tolerating some pain in the beginning can save years of dealing with pain meds.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: The majority of

People are treated non operatively with spinal stenosis which is generally due to diffuse aging of the spine with the facet joints overgrowing and the discs degenerating and bulging as they collapse .
About 15% improve with time, 15% get worse & the rest remain as they are. Of those that go to surgery, most do well until about 5 years postop, with some regressing do to further degeneration.

In brief: The majority of

People are treated non operatively with spinal stenosis which is generally due to diffuse aging of the spine with the facet joints overgrowing and the discs degenerating and bulging as they collapse .
About 15% improve with time, 15% get worse & the rest remain as they are. Of those that go to surgery, most do well until about 5 years postop, with some regressing do to further degeneration.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Thank
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