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The first line of treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis (with or without lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis) involves conservative options such as anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics. Approximately, 10%-15% of patients require surgery. Surgical treatment aims to decompress the spinal canal and dural sac from degenerative bony and ligamentous overgrowth. Different studies have given conflicting results. The aim of our study is to clear the confusion by comparing two surgical techniques. This meta-analysis was conducted in accordance with the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. A literature search was conducted of the Ovid Embase, Scopus, Pubmed, Ovid Medline, Google Scholar, and Cochrane library databases. A quality and risk of bias assessment was also done. The analysis was done using Revman software (The Nordic Cochrane Centre, The Cochrane Collaboration, 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark). A total of 76 studies were extracted from the literature search and 29 studies with relevant information were shortlisted. Nine studies were included in the meta-analysis after a quality assessment and eligibility. Fusion with decompression surgery was found to be a better technique when compared to decompression alone for spinal stenosis in terms of the Oswestry Disability index and the visual analog pain scale for back and leg pain. On the basis of the meta-analysis of the recent medical literature, the authors concluded that decompression with fusion is a 3.5-times better surgical technique than decompression alone for spinal stenosis.


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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.