Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis in people with knee or hip osteoarthritis or low back pain: a cross-sectional study of 10,234 participants in primary care

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2021 Nov;29(11):1515-1520. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2021.07.012. Epub 2021 Jul 31.


Objective: The aims of this study were to evaluate: the proportion of people reporting symptoms associated with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) in primary care programs for knee or hip osteoarthritis (OA) or persistent low back pain (LBP) and; the prevalence of self-reported clinical LSS in these three cohorts, according to two sets of adapted criteria.

Method: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark primary care programs. Self-report LSS symptom questions were administered to participants with knee OA, hip OA, and persistent LBP. The prevalence of eleven LSS symptoms and clinical LSS were calculated for each cohort.

Results: A total of 10,234 participants were included in the analysis. A similar proportion of participants in each cohort were female (69%), with a 6- and 7-year older mean age in the knee and hip cohorts compared to the back cohort. A greater proportion of participants with LBP reported LSS symptoms (range 11-71%) than in the hip (11-50%) and knee (8-40%) cohorts. This pattern was observed for all but one symptom. The same pattern was observed for the prevalence of clinical LSS with less than 10% of people in each cohort satisfying the clinical criteria.

Conclusion: Self-reported LSS symptoms are commonly reported by people treated in primary care for knee or hip OA, although not as frequently as reported by those with LBP. Despite symptoms of LSS being common, only a small proportion of people were classified as having self-reported clinical LSS.

Keywords: Hip osteoarthritis; Knee osteoarthritis; Low back pain; Lumbar spinal stenosis; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't