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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1992 Jun;(279):82-6.

The natural course of lumbar spinal stenosis.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Malmö General Hospital, Lund University, Sweden.


The course of 32 untreated patients with spinal stenosis was studied. The mean patient age was 60 years, and the mean period of observation was 49 months. About 75% of the patients had spinal claudication. In the follow-up survey, the same number of patients had claudication, but the symptoms were milder. In estimation by visual analog scale, symptoms in 70% of the cases were unchanged, 15% showed improvement, and 15% worsened. No proof of severe deterioration was found after four years, and expectant observation may be an alternative to surgical treatment.

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