Lumbar spinal stenosis: clinical/radiologic therapeutic evaluation in 145 patients. Conservative treatment or surgical intervention?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1993 Feb;18(2):291-8.


In this prospective study, 145 patients with lumbar spinal stenosis were evaluated for clinical signs and radiologic findings and conservative treatment results. Clinical parameters such as pain on motion, lumbar range of motion, straight leg raising test, deep tendon reflexes, dermatomal sensations, motor functions and neurogenic claudication distances were assessed at admission and were compared after a conservative treatment program was completed. A conservative treatment program consisted of physical therapy (infrared heating, ultrasonic diathermy and active lumbar exercises) and salmon calcitonin. Pain on motion (100%), restriction of extension (77%), limited straight leg raising test (23%), neurogenic claudication (100%), dermatomal sensory impairment (47%), motor deficit (29%), and reflex deficit (40%) were observed in the patients. All aforementioned disturbances except reflex deficits improved by the conservative treatment and results were statistically significant. The authors conclude that this conservative treatment should be the treatment of choice in elderly patients and in those patients without clinical surgical indications.

MeSH terms

  • Calcitonin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Reflex, Stretch / physiology
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Sensation Disorders / physiopathology
  • Spinal Stenosis / complications
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Spinal Stenosis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology


  • Calcitonin