Prognostic Factors for Satisfaction After Decompression Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Neurosurgery 82:645–651, 2018

Surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis is associated with both short- and long-term benefits with improvements in patient function and pain. Even though most patients are satisfied postoperatively, some studies report that up to onethird of patients are dissatisfied.

OBJECTIVE: To present clinical outcome data and identify prognostic factors related to patient satisfaction 1 yr after posterior decompression surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis.

METHODS: This multicenter register study included 2562 patients. Patients were treated with various types of posterior decompression. Patients with previous spine surgery or concomitant fusion were excluded. Patient satisfaction was analyzed for associations with age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, duration of pain, number of decompressed vertebral levels, comorbidities, and patient-reported outcome measures,which were used to quantify the effect of the surgical intervention.

RESULTS: At 1-yr follow-up, 62.4% of patients were satisfied but 15.1% reported dissatisfaction. The satisfied patients showed significantly greater improvement in all outcome measures compared to the dissatisfied patients. The outcome scores for the dissatisfied patients were relatively unchanged or worse compared to baseline. Association was seen between dissatisfaction, duration of leg pain, smoking status, and patient comorbidities. Patients with good walking capacity at baseline were less prone to be dissatisfied compared to patients with poor walking capacity.

CONCLUSION: This study found smoking, long duration of leg pain, and cancerous and neurological disease to be associated with patient dissatisfaction, whereas good walking capacity at baseline was positively associated with satisfaction after 1 yr.