A recent study published in the prestigious medical journal Spine has outlined 6 specific signs to help diagnose Lumbar Spine Stenosis. The study was based on polls of 279 physicians from 29 different countries with an average of 19 years in practice. The study suggests that clinicians can be 80% certain of the diagnosis by answering 6 basic questions.
The six top items were “leg or buttock pain while walking”, “flex forward to relieve symptoms”, “feel relief when using a shopping cart or bicycle”, “motor or sensory disturbance while walking”, “normal and symmetric foot pulses”, “lower extremity weakness” and “low back pain”.
Conclusions. This is the first study to reach an international consensus on the clinical diagnosis of LSS, and suggests that within six questions clinicians are 80% certain of diagnosis. We propose a consensus-based set of “7 history items” that can act as a pragmatic criterion for defining LSS in both clinical and research settings, which in the long-term may lead to more cost-effective treatment, improved health-care utilization and enhanced patient outcomes.
Level of Evidence: 2