Dr. Kamal Thapar, MD., PhD., FRCSC., FAANS
1200 Oakleaf Way, Suite A, Altoona, WI 54720

Neurogenic Claudication

Neurogenic claudication is a disorder that often occurs as a result of spinal stenosis within the lumbar spine (lower back). Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can cause compression of the spinal nerves. Neurogenic means the problem originates with the nerves and claudication is from the Latin word for “to limp” because the patient suffering from neurogenic claudication experiences a painful cramp or weakness in the legs.


– Spinal stenosis, specifically within the lumbar spine

– Degenerative disc disease


– Pain in the lower extremities

– Low back pain

– Sensation of fatigue in the lower extremities, specifically in the calves

– Pain is exacerbated with certain activities (walking, prolonged standing, leaning backwards)

– Numbness and tingling

– Impaired bowel or bladder function


In order to confirm the diagnosis of neurogenic claudication, an MRI of the lumbar spine must be obtained in order to identify the location and severity of spinal stenosis and determine which spinal nerves are being compressed.


Symptoms of neurogenic claudication are caused by spinal stenosis. Treatment for spinal stenosis includes both conservative management and surgical intervention. Recommendations are based on the patient’s symptoms, specific cause, and response to non-operative management. Similarly, the type surgical procedure is also based on the patient’s symptoms and imaging studies. The goal of surgery is to eliminate the cause of stenosis which varies in each individual patient. If surgical intervention is recommended, a simple procedure may be able to alleviate the pressure on the nerves. This procedure is called a decompression or laminectomy.