Asian Spine J.  2014 Aug;8(4):521-530. 10.4184/asj.2014.8.4.521.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Who Should Be Fused? An Updated Review

Affiliations
  • 1Orthopedic Department, Orthopedic Research Center, Imam Reza Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. omidif@mums.ac.ir

Abstract

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is mostly caused by osteoarthritis (spondylosis). Clinically, the symptoms of patients with LSS can be categorized into two groups; regional (low back pain, stiffness, and so on) or radicular (spinal stenosis mainly presenting as neurogenic claudication). Both of these symptoms usually improve with appropriate conservative treatment, but in refractory cases, surgical intervention is occasionally indicated. In the patients who primarily complain of radiculopathy with an underlying biomechanically stable spine, a decompression surgery alone using a less invasive technique may be sufficient. Preoperatively, with the presence of indicators such as failed back surgery syndrome (revision surgery), degenerative instability, considerable essential deformity, symptomatic spondylolysis, refractory degenerative disc disease, and adjacent segment disease, lumbar fusion is probably recommended. Intraoperatively, in cases with extensive decompression associated with a wide disc space or insufficient bone stock, fusion is preferred. Instrumentation improves the fusion rate, but it is not necessarily associated with improved recovery rate and better functional outcome.

Keyword

Spinal stenosis; Lumbar vertebrae; Instrumentation; Spinal fusion

MeSH Terms

Back Pain
Congenital Abnormalities
Constriction, Pathologic
Decompression
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Humans
Lumbar Vertebrae
Osteoarthritis
Radiculopathy
Spinal Fusion
Spinal Stenosis*
Spine
Spondylolysis
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