A rethink of fusion surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis

Ai Min Wu*, Tiejun TONG, Xiang Yang Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the most common spinal disorders in elderly patients, how to choose decompression alone or decompression plus fusion is still controversial. It was reported that the rate of decompression alone for lumbar stenosis was decreased, whereas the rate of decompression plus fusion was increased recently. Two recent multicenter RCTs papers published in the same issue of N Engl J Med compare the outcomes of decompression alone or decompression plus fusion for lumbar spinal stenosis currently. We combined the results from these two studies using the Stata software, we found that the decompression plus fusion had a significantly more blood loss and longer operative time. And no significant difference was found in the parameters of length of hospital stay, SF-36 Physical Component Summary, Oswestry Disability Index, Visual analogue scales of back pain and leg pain between decompression alone group and decompression plus fusion group. Therefore, based on the current evidence, we advocate a rethink on the decompression plus fusion trend chosen by surgeons, the indications of fusion should be restricted to the lumbar stenosis patients accompanied with spinal instability or deformity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-169
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health Policy

User-Defined Keywords

  • Decompression surgery
  • lumbar fusion
  • lumbar stenosis
  • spinal disorder
  • spondylolisthesis


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