What Is Ligamentum Flavum Hypertrophy?

Ligamentum flavum hypertrophy is a condition in which the ligamentum flava grows wider and larger and expands toward the central spinal canal. It is also referred to as ligamentum flavum thickening.

The ligamentum flava links the vertebrae together and provides a bond that allows controlled vertebral movement, according to spinal-stenosis-treatment.org. When the ligament expands, it can impinge on the sides of the central spinal canal and cause partial spinal stenosis, a narrowing of open spinal spaces.

Normally, partial spinal stenosis is not an issue. However, if the ligamentum flavum thickens and another spinal abnormality is present on the frontal side of the canal, the result can be extreme spinal stenosis. If this occurs, surgical treatment is often necessary.