Surgery is not always best for lumbar spinal stenosisBMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4602 (Published 23 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4602
Cole’s second sentence about lumbar spinal canal stenosis, “The condition is best managed surgically, but which operation should be used?”1 is a highly contentious, sweeping generalisation, and I am surprised to see it in an editorial in The BMJ.
There is huge doubt about whether any intervention is better than none, and it is a perfectly reasonable option for many elderly patients with the condition simply to live with it and adapt their lifestyles accordingly. Readers who want a more balanced view of the options would be well advised to read The BMJ’s earlier article on the subject by Lurie and Tomkins-Lane.2
Competing interests: None declared.