J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  1999 Feb;28(2):246-252.

A Comparison of Clinical Outcomes between Decompressive Lumbar Laminectomy Alone and with Arthrodesis in Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, College of Medicine, Sung Kyun Kwan University, Seoul, Korea.


To evaluate the relationship between surgical procedures and clinical outcomes in degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis, we retrospectively analyzed the results of the patients who had been performed decompressive lumbar spinal surgery. Eighty-five patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis underwent decompressive lumbar spinal surgery between Jan. 1994 and Dec. 1996. The patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups; decompression alone(47 patients) and decompression with arthrodesis(38 patients). Among the patients with arthrodesis, the instruments were placed in 34 patients. The follow-up duration was 16-51 months(mean; 32.8 months). Functional outcome was excellent or good in 96% of the patients with decompression alone and in 97% of those with decompression with arthrodesis(p=0.667), and the overall patient's satisfaction was 87.5% and 89.5%, respectively. Although the various factors, which could be possible influent to the clinical outcome, were considered, there were no statistically significant differences in results between the two groups. The findings of this study demonstrate that the spinal fusion procedure has no benefit in clinical outcomes of the patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. Thus the fusion procedures with instrumentation should be used only in carefully selected patients because of its potential risks of serious complications, such as nerve root injury, massive bleeding, and infection.


Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis; Clinical outcome; Decompressive laminectomy; Arthrodesis

MeSH Terms

Follow-Up Studies
Retrospective Studies
Spinal Fusion
Spinal Stenosis*
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