The authors report their current experience with their previously published novel form of treatment in 70 cases of lumbar canal stenosis. The treatment consisted of only fixation of the spinal segments by the transarticular screw fixation technique. No bone, ligament, osteophyte, or disc resection was done for spinal canal and neural foraminal decompression. The proposed treatment is based on the concept that vertical instability that results in telescoping of the facets on physical activity forms the nodal point of pathogenesis of lumbar canal stenosis.
During the period June 2014 to May 2018, 70 patients presenting with the classically described symptoms of lumbar canal stenosis were treated surgically by only fixation of involved spinal segments. Apart from clinical and radiological guides, instability was diagnosed on the basis of physical observation of the status of articulation by direct manipulation of bones of the region. The operation involved transarticular insertion of 2 or 3 screws for each articulation. The Oswestry Disability Index and visual analog scale were used to assess the patients before and after surgery and at follow-up. Additionally, a personalized patient satisfaction score was used to assess the outcome of surgery.
Clinical symptomatic recovery was observed in all patients in the immediate postoperative period. During the average follow-up period, 100% of patients had varying degrees of symptomatic relief. The patient satisfaction score suggested that all patients were very satisfied with the surgical procedure. The transarticular fixation technique provided strong spinal segment fixation and a reliable ground for bone arthrodesis. No patient needed any additional modality of treatment or reoperation for recurrence of symptoms.
Spinal instability is the nodal point of pathogenesis of spinal degeneration–related lumbar canal stenosis. Only fixation of the involved spinal segments is necessary—decompression by bone or soft-tissue resection is not necessary.