Danish national clinical guidelines for surgical and nonsurgical treatment of patients with lumbar spinal stenosis

Rikke Rousing*, Rikke Krüger Jensen, Søren Fruensgaard, Janni Strøm, Helle Algren Brøgger, Jørgen Dan Møller Degn, Mikkel Ø Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: To summarize the recommendations from the national clinical guideline published by the Danish Health Authority regarding surgical and nonsurgical interventions in treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis in patients above the age of 65 years. Methods: A multidisciplinary working group formulated recommendations based on the GRADE approach. Results: Seven of the recommendations were based on randomized controlled trials and three on professional consensus. The guideline recommends surgical decompression for symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis. Supervised exercise and postsurgical supervised exercise are recommended due to the general beneficial effects of training on general health, even though there was no evidence on an effect on neurogenic pain. The guideline does not recommend manual therapy, paracetamol, NSAIDs, opioids, neurogenic pain medication, muscle relaxants, and decompression combined with instrumented fusion as there was no evidence of the beneficial effect. Conclusion: The recommendations are based on low to very low quality of evidence or professional consensus as well as patient preferences and positive or harmful effects of the intervention. The true treatment effect may therefore be different from the estimated effects, which is why the results should be interpreted with caution. The working group recommends intensified research in relation to all aspects of management of lumbar spinal stenosis. Graphical abstract: These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1386-1396
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Guideline
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Surgical and nonsurgical interventions
  • Lumbar Vertebrae/surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations/methods
  • Spinal Stenosis/complications
  • Decompression, Surgical/methods
  • Neuralgia/etiology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy/methods
  • Neurosurgical Procedures/methods

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