Lumbar spinal stenosis with PSP? - PSP Association

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Lumbar spinal stenosis with PSP?


My husband also was diagnosed with severe lumbar spinal stenosis and it was recommended he have spinal fusion. We are not going to do that at this point. Can't imagine adding that on top of everything else. The rehab would be nearly impossible. Someone else on this site (I can't find the post now) said that spinal stenosis was part of the PSP progression. I haven't heard this before. Can anyone else tell me more about this?

8 Replies

So many things can happen with PSP. No two people will have the same things happen. Spinal stenosis could be a symptom of the disease or maybe he just has spinal stenosis.

Anesthesia isn’t a good idea for people with PSP. There is some thought it could be the catalyst for neurological diseases.

in reply to Jeff166

I agree with Jeff!

My hubby had a "bad back" for a couple of years before he became incapacitated. Most of it seemed like it was due to muscle spasms, overuse or lack of control.

He would certainly not have benefited from any medical intervention, nor have had time to recover. Even Physio had its problems. Normal Physio as for sports injuries just made it worse. One however treated him differently and was more gentle. She was a naturopath and I guess was not aggravating the nerves with her treatment. I was not accompanying him to treatments at that time, but have had personal experience since where sports Physio has aggravated a nerve.


Jen xxx

My husband has had c4 c5 c6 decompression a couple of years ago yes for spinal stenosis I think it helped but his mobility went down after as after the op he got a blood clot and I think that partially made him worse walking

What to to ? damned if we do damned if we don’t ?

Regards Irene 💕

My husband has spinal stenosis of cervical vertebrae so a year ago I requested a consult with a spinal surgeon, who felt that a surgery might help my husband, but cautioned against it because so many other things could go wrong. He did not have the surgery, and his neck rigidity and ability to walk, sit and read has declined dramatically, but neither one of us believes that he would have survived the surgery. It is hard, as someone said, damned if you do, damned if you don't.


My husband had two major spinal fusions to treat what we now believe to be centrally mediated rigidity on his left side (he was just diagnosed with corticobasal syndrome this spring). The surgeries were bears, the recovery huge, and for him at least, did very little to nothing. The surgeons were good people, but sometimes it is hard for them to see beyond a little narrowing on an MRI to the whole person in front of them.

I agree. Sometimes the specialists have tunnel vision and don't see the whole person.

My husband has severe lumbar stenosis. They said it is guaranteed that he will have paralysis eventually if they do not operate. We got a second opinion and that surgeon said it was very risky and they wouldn't do surgery until he had a firm diagnosis (should be coming this week) and a bone density test, as his bones may not be able to withstand the hardware that would be installed. The general anesthesia would be very risky and he said the anesthesiologist would be "paranoid." He also said that it would possibly improve his walking "for a time." I was very concerned about the recovery and throwing us into a much worse situation than we are already in. Well, here it is six weeks later and he cannot walk. Whether it's from the spine or PSP, who knows. The movement disorder doctor says it's the progression of the disease. I can't imagine intentionally making his life more difficult right now. We have the bone density test scheduled which I think he is going to cancel.

With so many people having spinal problems along with PSP, I am thinking it may be part of the disease.

Thank you for reaching out. The people on this site are so helpful.

Sorry for my late reply. My husband Charles had the stenosis and was in incredible pain. We had surgery, stopped the pain, and he passed away 4 years later. Though no pain. PSP is bad enough but with the back it was worse.

All along I thought they were separate, but they are not, they are part of the disease.


My father has also been diagnosed w/ PSP and now with spinal stenosis. We are looking into surgery as the pain is so intense and most of the time he is on the floor with his legs in the air. We are concerned about the anesthetic as well. Is there some that would be better than others? Also, would a spinal block or something like that be a better option?

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