The aim of this study was to compare the radiological and clinical results of bilateral interlaminar canal decompression and classic laminectomy in lumbar canal stenosis (LCS).
Two hundred eighteen patients with LCS were randomized to surgical treatment with classic laminectomy (group 1) or bilateral interlaminar canal decompression (group 2). Low-back and leg pain were evaluated according to the visual analog scale (VAS) both preoperatively and postoperatively. Disability was evaluated according to the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) preoperatively and at 1 month, 1 year, and 3 years postoperatively. Neurogenic claudication was evaluated using the Zurich Claudication Questionnaire (ZCQ) preoperatively and 1 year postoperatively. The two treatment groups were compared in terms of neurogenic claudication, estimated blood loss (EBL), and intra- and postoperative complications.
Postoperative low-back and leg pain declined as compared to the preoperative pain. Both groups had significant improvement in VAS, ODI, and ZCQ scores, and the improvements in ODI and back pain VAS scores were significantly better in group 2. The average EBL was 140 ml in group 2 compared to 260 ml in group 1. Nine patients in the laminectomy group developed postoperative instability requiring fusion compared to only 4 cases in the interlaminar group (p = 0.15). Complications frequency did not show any statistical significance between the two groups.
Bilateral interlaminar decompression is an effective method that provides sufficient canal decompression with decreased instability in cases of LCS and increases patient comfort in the postoperative period.