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Trials. 2015 Oct 27;16:483. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-1009-2.

Effects of a prehabilitation program on patients' recovery following spinal stenosis surgery: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

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Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada. julie.o'
Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux de Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.



Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis is a prevalent condition in adults over the age of 65 and often leads to deconditioning. Although the benefits of surgery outweigh those of conservative approaches, physical rehabilitation may be used to improve function and to minimize the risk of persistent dysfunction. This study protocol was designed to establish the feasibility of a full-scale randomized controlled trial and to assess the efficacy of an active preoperative intervention program on the improvement of clinical parameters and functional physical capacity in patients undergoing surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis.


Forty patients will be recruited and randomly allocated to one of the 2 treatment arms: 6 weeks supervised preoperative rehabilitation program (experimental group) or hospital standard preoperative management (control group). The intervention group will be trained three times per week, with each session aiming to improve strength, muscular endurance, spinal stabilization and cardiovascular fitness. Intensity and complexity of exercises will be gradually increased throughout the sessions, depending on each participant's individual progress. Primary outcomes are level of low back disability and level of pain. Secondary outcomes include the use of pain medication, quality of life, patient's global impression of change, lumbar extensor muscles endurance, maximum voluntary contraction of lumbar flexor and extensor muscles, maximum voluntary contraction of knee extensors, active lumbar ranges of motion, walking abilities, and cardiovascular capacity. Both the primary and secondary outcomes will be measured at baseline, at the end of the training program (6 weeks after baseline evaluation for control participants), and at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months postoperatively.


This study will inform the design of a future large-scale trial. Improvements of physical performances before undergoing lumbar surgery may limit functional limitations occurring after a surgical intervention. Results of this study will provide opportunity to efficiently improve spinal care and advance our knowledge of favorable preoperative strategies to optimize postoperative recovery.


US National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials registry NCT02258672 , 10 February 2014.

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