Letters Fusion for lumbar spinal stenosis?

Surgery is not always best for lumbar spinal stenosis

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4602 (Published 23 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4602
  1. Gerald Coakley, consultant rheumatologist
  1. Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, London SE18 4QH, UK
  1. gerald.coakley{at}nhs.net

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.


View Abstract

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription