The aim of this study was to compare perioperative complications and postoperative outcomes between patients with lumbar recurrent stenosis without lumbar instability and radiculopathy who underwent decompression surgery and those who underwent decompression with fusion surgery.
For this retrospective study, the authors identified 2606 consecutive patients who underwent posterior surgery for lumbar spinal canal stenosis at eight affiliated hospitals between April 2017 and June 2019. Among these patients, those with a history of prior decompression surgery and central canal restenosis with cauda equina syndrome were included in the study. Those patients with instability or radiculopathy were excluded. The patients were divided between the decompression group and decompression with fusion group. The demographic characteristics, numerical rating scale score for low-back pain, incidence rates of lower-extremity pain and lower-extremity numbness, Oswestry Disability Index score, 3-level EQ-5D score, and patient satisfaction rate were compared between the two groups using the Fisher’s exact probability test for nominal variables and the Student t-test for continuous variables, with p < 0.05 as the level of statistical significance.
Forty-six patients met the inclusion criteria (35 males and 11 females; 19 patients underwent decompression and 27 decompression and fusion; mean ± SD age 72.5 ± 8.8 years; mean ± SD follow-up 18.8 ± 6.0 months). Demographic data and perioperative complication rates were similar. The percentages of patients who achieved the minimal clinically important differences for patient-reported outcomes or satisfaction rate at 1 year were similar.
Among patients with central canal stenosis who underwent revision, the short-term outcomes of the patients who underwent decompression were comparable to those of the patients who underwent decompression and fusion. Decompression surgery may be effective for patients without instability or radiculopathy.