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2 active trials for Spinal Stenosis of Lumbar Region

Decompression vs Physical Training for the Treatment of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is characterized by low back and leg pain, walking disturbances and sometimes instability, impaired balance and numbness of the lower limbs. This condition is caused by degenerative changes in the lumbar spine including bulging discs, osteophytes from the arthritic facet joints and thickened ligamentum flavum which together cause narrowing of the spinal canal and thus affect the lumbar nerve roots. This diagnosis is attracting more and more interest due to the aging population with increasing demands for physical activity. LSS is the most common indication for spinal surgery. The surgical treatment involves relieving the pressure from the nerve structures in the stenotic segments through a posterior approach. In several studies, surgery has been shown to have better results than the conservative treatment. However, methodological difficulties and a large proportion of cross-over in these studies indicate that there is still uncertainty about whether surgery is generally a better option. It has been speculated whether the compression of the nerve roots causes in some patients permanent nerve damage with muscle denervation, while in other cases a reinnervation and recovery of the function may occur. Results from neurography and EMG studies have been shown these modalities to have a possible predictive value for the natural process of LSS. If a neurophysiological examination could be able to predict which patients are able to benefit from surgery, many patients could avoid surgery and the risks involved in it. The aim of this study is primarily to evaluate whether surgery with decompression leads to superior results than the non-surgical treatment with structured physical therapy. The main secondary aim is to investigate by means of Neurography and EMG, whether the degree of neurological affection caused by nerve compression affects the outcome of surgery for LSS.

UppsalaStart: May 2018