News Category: Lumbar Spine


Update of 2006 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Spinal Stenosis

Today’s physicians depend on evidence from clinical studies and what are considered “best practice” approaches by experts whenever possible. When evaluating patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS or sometimes referred to as just LSS), the clinical practice guidelines of 2006 have been the “go to” document for guidance. This […]


Considerations When Choosing Spine Surgical Technique

Patients in need of surgery for severe, chronic back pain can benefit by today’s modern surgical techniques, especially minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for spinal fusion. But this MIS technique exposes the surgeon (and operating room staff) to greater levels of radiation. The increased radiation exposure occurs because of the need […]


Does Acupuncture Help Low Back Pain?

Acupuncture as an alternative treatment to traditional medicine has been making the news. More and more studies are showing its positive effects on chronic low back pain. But differences in how the studies are conducted have left some lingering doubts as to the true benefit of this treatment. Since patients […]


SPORT Analysis of Treatment for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis and Stenosis

SPORT stands for Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial. It is an ongoing long-term study conducted at 13 medical centers across 11 states in the United States. These medical centers provide multidisciplinary treatment to patients with spinal disorders. Patients are followed at regular intervals and outcomes are measured in terms of […]


Surgery — Or No Surgery for Chronic Low Back Pain

Patients with chronic, persistent, and disabling low back pain from degenerative disc disease (DDD) will be interested in the results of this study. The authors (surgeons from four well-known Spine Centers in the U.S.) collected, reviewed, and summarized data from studies comparing surgical fusion with nonoperative (conservative) care. They used […]


Treatment of Lumbar Instability Without Surgery For Athletes

Sports athletes are not immune to low back pain. Bony defects such as spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis present from birth or as a result of stress fractures from overuse can be a common cause of lumbar instability. In the case of spondylolysis, the supporting bony column (called the pars interarticularis) fractures. […]


Results of Spine Surgery Differ Across the U.S.

Patients who have spine surgery (laminectomy and/or fusion) have different results depending on where the surgery was done. Those are the findings of a recent review of data collected from 13 spine centers in 11 different cities across the United States. Naturally, the reasons for these differences in outcomes are […]


Avoiding Adjacent Segment Disease After Spinal Fusion

Studying the causes and ways to avoid adjacent segment disease (ASD) of the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) spine has become a major focus of research these days. But with the ever changing surgical tools and techniques, it is difficult to compare studies from 10 years ago with current […]


Rethinking Epidural Steroid Injection for Lumbar Stenosis

When all nonsurgical, noninvasive treatments have been tried without success for lumbar spinal stenosis, surgeons often try epidural steroid injections (ESI). But based on the results of a new study, it may be time to rethink that step. Lumbar spinal stenosis (stenosis of the low back) is a common cause […]


Comparing Two Tests in Patients with Low Back Pain

Mechanical low back pain continues to confound health care professionals and researchers alike. Efforts to understand causes, effects, and find the best treatment are ongoing. In this study from Sweden, physical therapists compare the usefulness of two specific tests of disability: fingertip-to-floor and straight leg raise tests. Both tests have […]


Treatment for Lumbar Disc Degeneration: Which Way to Go?

Adults suffering from pain, loss of function, and poor quality of life have three basic treatment options: conservative care and rehabilitation, spinal fusion, or the newer option of disc replacement. In order to find out how to advise their patients, surgeons from The Netherlands conducted an extensive survey of the […]


Leg Pain in Older Adults: Where Is It Coming From?

Aches and pains seem to be part of the aging process for many people. Hip pain is especially common but doesn’t always come from the hip so diagnosis can be tricky. Likewise, knee and lower leg pain must be evaluated carefully because the origin can be the lumbar spine or […]


Chances of Returning to Play Ball After Disc Removal

What are the chances a professional athlete having a diskectomy will be able to get back on the playing field (or court) and how long does it take? These are the two important questions this study answers. The authors (orthopedic surgeons at a spine center) looked back at the medical […]


Consequences of Delayed Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

According to this new study from the University of Utah, early referral to physical therapy for mechanical low back pain is linked with: 1) lower overall health care costs, 2) fewer doctor visits, 3) less use of advanced imaging (CT scans, MRIs), 4) reduced risk of surgery and injections, and […]


Keeping That Hospital Time Under 24-Hours for Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Events that occur before, during, and after surgery can cause problems for patients. These factors are referred to as preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative variables. Identifying such risk factors can help reduce the number of days patients are hospitalized with complications. And that translates into less pain and suffering and lower […]


Physician Referral Patterns to Physical Therapy

Physicians and physical therapists often work together to aid patients with low back pain (LBP). The optimal timing and pathway from physician to physical therapist remains to be determined. In this study, therapists examine the type of physicians sending patients with low back pain to therapists and the outcomes of […]


The Economics and Treatment of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is an unfortunate condition associated with aging. Various factors combined together result in a narrowing of the spinal canal and openings for the spinal nerves to exit. Pressure on these sensitive nerve tissues causes low back (and often leg) pain and impaired quality of life. The personal and […]


Why Do Spinous Process Fractures Occur in the Spine After X-Spacers?

In this study, surgeons at Tufts University School of Medicine discover an important reason why half of their patients receiving an X-STOPĀ® device end up with a fracture of the spinous process. The X-STOPĀ® is a metal implant made of titanium. It is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment […]


MRI For Low Back Pain: When Is It Too Early?

Workers who have an acute low back injury with pain while on the job are often anxious to get back to work. Current Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) recommend that only certain patients require X-rays. This is also true for other imaging studies such as MRIs in the first six weeks […]


Relationship Between Low Back Pain and Metabolic Syndrome in Japanese Adults

Is there a link between metabolic syndrome and low back pain? Any condition that can reduce or restrict physical activity has the potential to contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and low back pain. In this study from Japan, researchers investigate the relationship and prevalence between metabolic syndrome and low back […]