Spinal decompression in lumbar stenosis significantly reduces low back pain, study finds

Written by Shayna Korol | February 14, 2019 | Print  |

Surgical decompression for symptomatic lumbar spine stenosis led to significant and sustained reductions in low back pain, according to a study in The Spine Journal.

Four things to know:

1. The study was a multi-center retrospective review of patients enrolled in the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network who underwent surgical treatment for symptomatic lumbar stenosis without instability between 2014 and 2017. In all, 1,221 patients were included in the analysis.

2. Patient-reported outcomes were collected at baseline and at three, 12 and 24 months postoperatively. The primary outcome was change in low back pain on the Numeric Rating Scale.

3. Patients' low back pain significantly improved three months after surgery, and the improvement was sustained at 24 months. The study authors found that 74 percent of patients reached the minimal clinical important difference in back pain.

4. Predictive factors for sustained low back pain improvement after surgical intervention included the absence of narcotic usage and compensation claims as well as increased pain severity preoperatively.

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