Lumbar spondylosis is a type of spondylosis that occurs in lumbar spine. It describes bony overgrowths, also called (osteophytes), predominantly those at the anterior, lateral, and, less commonly, posterior aspects of the superior and inferior margins of vertebral bodies.
Likelihood of spondylosis increases with age and is considered an inevitable part of aging.
Lumbar spondylosis is the price of upright posture we have.
Lumbar spondylosis appears to be a nonspecific aging phenomenon. As yet there has been found no relation to lifestyle, height, weight, body mass, physical activity, cigarette and alcohol consumption.
Obesity has been found to be a risk factor in some of populations.
Pathophysiology of Lumbar Spondylosis
When annular ligament is put to stress body responds by forming new bone i.e. osteophytes which results in lumbar spondylosis.
Presentation of Lumbar Spondylosis
Per se, lumbar spondylosis produces no symptoms. Osteophytes may lead to pressure on the surrounding structures which produce symptoms.
When back or sciatic pains are symptoms, lumbar spondylosis is usually an unrelated finding. Therefore other causes of back pain must be ruled out. These include spondyloarthropathies, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, postural problems, spondyloslisthesis, vertebral fracture, spondylitis or PIVD.
Spondylosis is often an associated finding in patients of back pain and sciatica.
No laboratory studies are required.
Mostly lumbar spondylosis is an incidental finding and radiographs, CT scans, and MRIs are used only in the event of complications.
Investigations need to be individualized.
Treatment of Lumbar Spondylosis
Therapy is supportive and symptomatic and involves pain killers, rest, physiotherapy and surgery [rarely] if required.
Medication is not indicated in the absence of complications.
Back pain that patient presents with is often an unrelated finding and presence of osteophytes does not indicate causation.
Sometimes, symptomatic nerve root impingement occurs which gets relieved by few days of rest. If it does not, surgical excision is indicated.
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