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MINERVA ORTOPEDICA E TRAUMATOLOGICA
A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology
Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2001 February;52(1):7-12
The conservative care of lumbar spinal stenosis. Clinical outcomes
Lisai P., Doria C., Crissantu L., Spano G., Meloni G. B., Fabbriciani C.
Background. It is common opinion that the natural history of lumbar canal stenosis involves an impairment of the clinical symptoms that sometimes require a surgical treatment. The goal of this perspective study is to evaluate the validity of the conservative care in the treatment of lumbar canal stenosis.
Methods. Seventeen patients affected by lumbar canal stenosis, for which the decompressive surgery had been suggested, have been treated with a conservative care. Clinical symptoms were represented by low back pain (28%), low back and radicular pain (70.6%) and neurological claudicatio intermittens (64.7%). Clinical diagnosis has been confirmed by SRG (2 cases), SRG+CT scan (3 cases), CT scan (8 cases) and MRI (4 cases). The conservative care consisted of medical drugs, use of orthopaedic tutors and lumbar postural exercises associated to a physical therapy (infrared and diathermical ultrasounds).
Results. Clinical results have been evaluated after an average follow-up of two years comparing the range of motion of the lumbar spine and the radicular involvement before and after the treatment. The results have been considered satisfying in 70.6% of the cases.
Conclusions. This study shows that the conservative care of lumbar canal stenosis lead to a good recovery of the range of motion of the lumbar vertebrae with resolution of radicular pain. This therapeutical approach may be performed in selected cases only.