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Lumbar spinal stenosis - surgery vs. conservative treatment

...which one is superior?

It has been shown that complex fusion procedures are increasingly applied to treat patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). However, no studies so far have proven that surgical treatments are indeed more effective than conservative treatments in LSS. This study systematically reviewed literature to compare the effects of surgical and non-surgical treatment in LSS. It could not be concluded that either surgical treatment or a conservative approach is better for lumbar spinal stenosis. However, the surgical approach showed higher side effects, whereas no side effects could be reported in conservative treatment.

Thus, there is no clear evidence whether surgical or a conservative approach is better for LSS. However, the rate of side effects was higher in surgical cases. These findings suggest that clinicians should be very careful in informing patients about possible treatment options, especially given that conservative treatment options have resulted in no reported side effects.

> From: Zaina et al., Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016-04-18 06:39:54) CD010264 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Cochrane Collaboration. Click here for the online summary.

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