Surgery Provides Improved Outcomes in Spinal Stenosis

Results in greater improvements than nonoperative treatment through four years

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Symptomatic spinal stenosis patients who undergo surgical treatment maintain substantially greater improvements in pain and function measures through four years compared to those treated nonoperatively, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of Spine.

James N. Weinstein, D.O., of Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and colleagues enrolled surgical candidates from 13 centers in 11 U.S. states who had at least 12 weeks of symptoms and confirmatory imaging into a randomized cohort or observational cohort. The patients were treated with either standard decompressive laminectomy or standard nonoperative care.

In an as-treated analysis combining the randomized cohort and the observational cohort, and adjusting for potential confounders, the researchers found clinically significant advantages for surgery through four years, compared to nonoperative treatment. Patients who underwent operative treatment demonstrated greater improvements in pain, function, satisfaction with symptoms, and self-rated progress over four years, compared to those who received nonoperative care.

"Patients with symptomatic spinal stenosis treated surgically compared to those treated nonoperatively maintain substantially greater improvement in pain and function through four years," the authors write.

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Beth Gilbert

Beth Gilbert

Published on June 24, 2010

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