From the Latin claudicare, which means 'to limp.' The Roman
emperor Claudius was so named because he limped, probably because of a
birth defect. Often,
patients with spinal stenosis experience claudication or limping during
walking. The problem is thought to be caused by a disturbed neurologic
function, thus, it termed as “neurogenic claudication”. Neurogenic
claudication is defined as calf discomfort (pain, numbness,
paresthesia, weakness, tiredness, heaviness), that is aggravated by
both walking and standing. It is relieved with some resting in the
flexed (sitting) position. The posterior and occasionally anterior
thigh can also be involved.
The typical clinical picture includes:
limitation of walking function,
clinical evidence of chronic nerve root compression with the presence of
a stenotic spinal canal lesion on imaging and,
in the absence of vascular impairment to the lower extremities.
Sometimes patients with spinal stenosis may have more radicular symptoms than the typical picture of neurogenic claudication.
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