Five-year durability of stand-alone interspinous process decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis

Clin Interv Aging. 2017 Sep 6:12:1409-1417. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S143503. eCollection 2017.


Background: Lumbar spinal stenosis is the most common indication for spine surgery in older adults. Interspinous process decompression (IPD) using a stand-alone spacer that functions as an extension blocker offers a minimally invasive treatment option for intermittent neurogenic claudication associated with spinal stenosis.

Methods: This study evaluated the 5-year clinical outcomes for IPD (Superion®) from a randomized controlled US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noninferiority trial. Outcomes included Zurich Claudication Questionnaire (ZCQ) symptom severity (ss), physical function (pf), and patient satisfaction (ps) subdomains, leg and back pain visual analog scale (VAS), and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

Results: At 5 years, 84% of patients (74 of 88) demonstrated clinical success on at least two of three ZCQ domains. Individual ZCQ domain success rates were 75% (66 of 88), 81% (71 of 88), and 90% (79 of 88) for ZCQss, ZCQpf, and ZCQps, respectively. Leg and back pain success rates were 80% (68 of 85) and 65% (55 of 85), respectively, and the success rate for ODI was 65% (57 of 88). Percentage improvements over baseline were 42%, 39%, 75%, 66%, and 58% for ZCQss, ZCQpf, leg and back pain VAS, and ODI, respectively (all P<0.001). Within-group effect sizes were classified as very large for four of five clinical outcomes (ie, >1.0; all P<0.0001). Seventy-five percent of IPD patients were free from reoperation, revision, or supplemental fixation at their index level at 5 years.

Conclusion: After 5 years of follow-up, IPD with a stand-alone spacer provides sustained clinical benefit.

Keywords: Superion; decompression; interspinous spacer; lumbar spinal stenosis; neurogenic claudication.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases
  • Pain Measurement
  • Spinal Stenosis / surgery*
  • Time Factors