Certain genetic changes could indicate the possibility of developing lumbar spinal stenosis, according to a recent study.

The study may provide insights into the potential causes of spinal stenosis, defined as a narrowing of the open spaces in the lower spine that can lead to pain in the legs when individuals walk.

“Our study represents a tremendous leap forward in our understanding of the condition,” says Dr Dino Samartzis, senior author of the study, which included 469 participants, published recently in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

“With a better understanding of the condition and the identification of genetic markers, individuals who are at increased risk can be identified early and preventative measures can be initiated. The information may also help investigators develop more novel and precision-based management options for affected patients,” Samartzis adds, in a media release from Wiley.

Lead author Dr Jason Cheung adds, “We finally have a clearer understanding regarding the genetic and developmental background of spinal canal narrowing. The bony spinal canal diameter is a unique phenotype that should not be mistaken for a canal measurement at the level of the disc, where it is highly influenced by disc degeneration features.”

[Source(s): Wiley, Science Daily]