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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1992 Nov;74(6):862-9.

Bone regrowth after surgical decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis.

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Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Modena, Italy.


We reviewed 40 patients treated surgically for lumbar stenosis at an average time of 8.6 years after operation. In 32, total laminectomy had been performed and in eight bilateral laminotomy, both at one or more levels. Of the 16 patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis, ten had had a concomitant spinal fusion. Patients were assigned to one of four groups according to the amount of bone regrowth: group 0 had no regrowth and groups I, II, and III, had mild, moderate or marked regrowth, respectively. Only 12% of the patients showed no bone regrowth; 48% were assigned to group I, 28% to group II and 12% to group III. Imaging studies showed varying degrees of recurrent stenosis in patients with moderate or marked bone regrowth. All patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis showed bone regrowth, which was more severe in those who had not had a fusion. The clinical results were satisfactory in most of the patients with mild or no bone regrowth and significantly less good in those with moderate or marked regrowth. In the group with degenerative spondylolisthesis, the proportion of satisfactory results was significantly higher in patients who had had spinal fusion. The long-term results of surgery for lumbar stenosis depend both upon the amount of bone regrowth and the degree of postoperative vertebral stability.

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