Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis is a common problem among older adults. Stenotic compression of spinal nerves can result in low back pain, disabling leg pain, and greatly restricted walking capacity. Conservative therapies are usually prescribed for mild symptoms and surgery is prescribed for severe symptoms, while patients with moderate symptoms may not have an obvious treatment choice. The clinical evidence supporting these treatment options has been criticized because of problems with study design and quality that complicate their assessment. Despite the poor quality of most of the literature, recent studies provide better information and a means of starting to judge the effectiveness of treatment.
Key words: lumbar spinal stenosis, neurogenic claudication, conservative therapy, surgical intervention.