Am Fam Physician. 2015 Sep 15;92(6):528.
Is surgery more effective than physical therapy in patients referred for surgery for spinal stenosis?
Assigning patients to six weeks of physical therapy is as effective as initially sending them for decompression surgery, with fewer complications, even in patients who have a strong preference for surgery. A trial of six weeks of physical therapy makes sense for many patients with confirmed spinal stenosis before getting out the scalpel. (Level of Evidence = 1b –)
The investigators enrolled 169 patients (average age: 66 to 69 years) with image-confirmed lumbar stenosis who consented to surgery. This approach to enrollment eliminated many patients, presumably those with milder symptoms. The patients were r
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