1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Lateral Recess

By

Updated June 22, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

A picture of the lateral recess of the spinal canal.

The lateral recess is an area inside the spinal canal that may be vulnerable to spinal stenosis.

(c) Anne Asher Licensed to About.com
Definition:

The lateral recess is the space within the spinal canal located toward the sides. It is also located close to the spinal nerve root.

The borders of the lateral recess include the back of the vertebral body and parts of the bony ring known as the pedicle and the superior facet.

Age-related changes in bones, facet joints and/or ligaments may cause these structures to occupy the lateral recess, creating a condition known as spinal stenosis. Because of proximity, these imposing structures may “bump into” the nerve root. This likely will cause pronounced pain.

Examples:
The lateral recess is part of the spinal canal that may be vulnerable to spinal stenosis.
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Back & Neck Pain
  4. Diagnosis
  5. Anatomy Explained
  6. Lateral Recess

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.