Lumbar spinal stenosis. Radiographic diagnosis with special reference to transverse axial tomography

J. J. Sheldon, L. A. Russin, F. P. Gargang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Spinal stenosis due to malalignment and/or hypertrophy of the bony margins of the spinal canal is a recognized cause of cauda equina compression and nerve root entrapment. The plain lumbosacral spine roentgenograms reveal the number of lumbar vertebrae, their alignment, their interpedicular distances, the height of the intervertebral disk spaces and the presence of osteophyte formation. It correlates poorly with encroachment on the spinal canal. The transverse axial tomogram directly demonstrates a cross section of the spinal canal and will show abnormal areas of bone encroachment usually arising from hypertrophied lamina and articular processes. These narrow the posterior portion of the spinal canal and encroach on the lateral recesses. This examination does not demonstrate soft tissue hypertrophy and the stenosis may be even greater than what is apparent due to the bony encroachment. The myelogram expresses how the narrowed spinal canal affects the dural sac and its contained cauda equina. Not infequently there is an associated herniated disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - Dec 1 1976


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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