Asian Spine J.  2020 Feb;14(1):9-16. 10.31616/asj.2019.0022.

Analysis of the Functional and Radiological Outcomes of Lumbar Decompression without Fusion in Patients with Degenerative Lumbar Scoliosis

  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, The Spine Clinic, Lilavati Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai, India
  • 2Department of Orthopaedics, Jupiter Hospital, Thane, India


Study Design: Retrospective study. Purpose: This study aimed to analyze the functional and radiological outcomes of lumbar decompression in patients with degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). Overview of Literature: Patients with DLS have symptoms related to lumbar canal stenosis (LCS) and those due to compensated spinal imbalance. Whether the deformity is the cause of pain or is an adaptive change for the ongoing LCS remains debatable. The extensive surgery for deformity correction along with spinal fusion is reported to have high perioperative morbidity and complication rate.
This retrospective analysis involved 51 patients who underwent lumbar decompression for LCS associated with DLS from October 2006 to October 2016. The magnitude of the curve was determined using Cobb’s angle and lumbar lordosis (D12–S1) on the preoperative and final follow-up, respectively. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and modified Oswestry Disability Index (mODI) scores at the preoperative and final follow-up indicated the functional outcome. Statistical analyses were performed using Student t -test.
All 51 patients were included in the statistical analyses. The mean patient age at presentation was 63.88±7.21 years. The average follow-up duration was 48±18.10 months. The average change in the Cobb’s angle at the final follow-up was statistically insignificant (1°±1.5°, p=0.924; 20.8°±5.1° vs. 21.9°±5.72°). The mean change in lumbar lordosis at the final follow-up was statistically insignificant (3.29°±1.56°, p=0.328; 30.2°±7.9° vs. 27.5°±7.1°). There was statistically insignificant worsening in the back VAS scores at the final follow-up (4.9±1.9 vs. 6.0±1.2, p=0.07). There was statistically significant improvement in the leg pain component of the VAS score at the final follow-up (5.8±1.05 vs. 2.6±1.2, p<0.001). There was statistically significant improvement in the mODI scores at the final follow-up (p<0.001).
Lumbar decompression in DLS is associated with good functional outcome, especially when the symptoms are related to LCS. Curve progression following lumbar decompression is very less at mid-term and is similar to that in the natural course of the disease.


Degenerative lumbar scoliosis; Lumbar canal stenosis; Lumbar decompression; Deformity progression; Functional outcome
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