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Lumbar spinal stenosis is the leading indication for spine surgery in older adults. Surgery is recommended in clinical guidelines if non-surgical treatments have been provided with insufficient benefit. The difficulty for clinicians is that the current number of randomised controlled trials is low, which creates uncertainty about which treatments to provide. For non-surgical clinicians this paucity of data leads to a clinical dilemma of whether to continue managing the patient or refer to a spine surgeon. This Viewpoint aims to provide an update on the assessment of lumbar spinal stenosis, treatment recommendations, indications for referral to a spine surgeon, and current clinical dilemmas facing non-surgical clinicians and spinal surgeons.

Original publication




Journal article


Lancet rheumatol

Publication Date