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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1996 Sep 1;21(17):2046-52.

Spinal stenosis and neurogenic claudication.

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Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Neurogenic claudication is diagnosed from a classical history and complementary spinal imaging. The abnormal signs may be few. It should be distinguished from intermittent claudication (peripheral vascular disease), referred pain from the back or root pain that is aggravated by walking, and psychological distress. Pathologically, a developmentally small canal is usually affected by multiple levels of segmental degenerative change, with venous pooling in the cauda equina between two levels of low pressure stenosis. There is probably then a failure of arterial vasodilatation of the congested roots in response to exercise, with symptoms in the legs when walking. Once established, symptoms tend neither to improve nor deteriorate. Conservative management is reasonable. Otherwise decompression at the most significant stenotic level is probably adequate to obtain a good surgical result.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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