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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 104-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1343 - 1351
1 Dec 2022
Karlsson T Försth P Skorpil M Pazarlis K Öhagen P Michaëlsson K Sandén B


The aims of this study were first, to determine if adding fusion to a decompression of the lumbar spine for spinal stenosis decreases the rate of radiological restenosis and/or proximal adjacent level stenosis two years after surgery, and second, to evaluate the change in vertebral slip two years after surgery with and without fusion.


The Swedish Spinal Stenosis Study (SSSS) was conducted between 2006 and 2012 at five public and two private hospitals. Six centres participated in this two-year MRI follow-up. We randomized 222 patients with central lumbar spinal stenosis at one or two adjacent levels into two groups, decompression alone and decompression with fusion. The presence or absence of a preoperative spondylolisthesis was noted. A new stenosis on two-year MRI was used as the primary outcome, defined as a dural sac cross-sectional area ≤ 75 mm2 at the operated level (restenosis) and/or at the level above (proximal adjacent level stenosis).