Indexed on: 21 May '14Published on: 21 May '14Published in: European Spine Journal
To compare patient outcomes and complication rates after different decompression techniques or instrumented fusion (IF) in lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).The multicentre study was based on Spine Tango data. Inclusion criteria were LSS with a posterior decompression and pre- and postoperative COMI assessment between 3 and 24 months. 1,176 cases were assigned to four groups: (1) laminotomy (n = 642), (2) hemilaminectomy (n = 196), (3) laminectomy (n = 230) and (4) laminectomy combined with an IF (n = 108). Clinical outcomes were achievement of minimum relevant change in COMI back and leg pain and COMI score (2.2 points), surgical and general complications, measures taken due to complications, and reintervention on the index level based on patient information. The inverse propensity score weighting method was used for adjustment.Laminotomy, hemilaminectomy and laminectomy were significantly less beneficial than laminectomy in combination with IF regarding leg pain (ORs with 95% CI 0.52, 0.34-0.81; 0.25, 0.15-0.41; 0.44, 0.27-0.72, respectively) and COMI score improvement (ORs with 95% CI 0.51, 0.33-0.81; 0.30, 0.18-0.51; 0.48, 0.29-0.79, respectively). However, the sole decompressions caused significantly fewer surgical (ORs with 95% CI 0.42, 0.26-0.69; 0.33, 0.17-0.63; 0.39, 0.21-0.71, respectively) and general complications (ORs with 95% CI 0.11, 0.04-0.29; 0.03, 0.003-0.41; 0.25, 0.09-0.71, respectively) than laminectomy in combination with IF. Accordingly, the likelihood of required measures was also significantly lower after laminotomy (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.17-0.46), hemilaminectomy (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.15-0.53) and after laminectomy (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.22-0.68) in comparison with laminectomy with IF. The likelihood of a reintervention was not significantly different between the treatment groups.As already demonstrated in the literature, decompression in patients with LSS is a very effective treatment. Despite better patient outcomes after laminectomy in combination with IF, caution is advised due to higher rates of surgical and general complications and consequent required measures. Based on the current study, laminotomy or laminectomy, rather than hemilaminectomy, is recommendable for minimum relevant pain relief.