This is a prospective study.
We compared the outcomes of segmental decompression and wide decompression in patients who had multilevel lumbar foraminal stenosis with back pain.
Overview of Literature
Wide decompression and fusion in patients with multilevel lumbar foraminal stenosis may increase the risk of perioperative complications.
From March 2005 to December 2007, this study prospectively examined 87 patients with multilevel lumbar foraminal stenosis and who were treated by segmental or wide decompression along with posterior fusion using pedicle screw fixation, and these patients could be followed-up for a minimum of 2 years. Of the 87 patients, 45 and 42 patients were assigned to the segmental decompression group (group 1) and the wide decompression group (group 2), respectively. We compared the clinical and radiological outcomes of the patients in these two groups.
There were no significant differences between groups 1 and 2 in terms of the levels of postoperative pain based on the visual analogue scale, the Oswestry Disability Score, the clinical results based on the Kirkaldy-Willis Criteria, the complication rate or the posterior fusion rate. On the other hand, the mean operating times in groups 1 and 2 were 153 ± 32 minutes and 187 ± 36 minutes, respectively (p < 0.05). The amount of blood loss during surgery and on the first postoperative day was 840 ± 236 ml and 1,040 ± 301 ml in groups 1 and 2, respectively (p < 0.05).
These results suggest that segmental decompression offers promising and reproducible clinical and radiological results for patients suffering from multilevel lumbar foraminal stenosis.