Surgical treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis in patients aged 65 years and older

S. Shabat*, Y. Leitner, M. Nyska, Y. Berner, B. Fredman, R. Gepstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spinal stenosis syndrome affects mainly patients at their 5th-6th decades of life. The main goals of surgical treatment in the elderly are to allow the individual to walk longer distances, maintain the activities of daily living (ADL) and social life. Our aim was to evaluate the results of surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis in elderly patients. All patients over 65 years of age who underwent surgery due to spinal stenosis syndrome between 1990 and 1998 were evaluated. There were 29 males and 17 females aged between 65 and 90 years. The clinical presentation included low back pain (89%), intermittent claudication (100%) and neurological involvement (87%). The radiological examination showed a frequent narrowing at the level L4-L5 in 93.5% of the patients. The results of the surgery in a mean follow-up of 22 months were good to excellent in 80% of the patients, fair in 11%, and poor in 9%. An improvement in the intensity of pain and in walking distances was noted in 89 and 85% of the patients, respectively. Improvement was achieved in the level of daily activity and in social lives in 57 and 61%, respectively. Major and minor complication rates were 6.5 and 19.5%, respectively. No mortality was noted in this series. Eighty-seven percent of the patients were satisfied with the results of the surgery. We conclude that Surgery for spinal stenosis is a successful and relatively safe procedure, also for patients aged over 65, and should be considered as a treatment option for these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Surgery


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