Comorbidity of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Polyneuropathy

Comorbidity of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Polyneuropathy

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Pfeiffer*, °Silva Externbrink

*District Hospital Loerrach, Germany,

Department of Spinal Surgery

°Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany,

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Corresponding author:

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Pfeiffer

Klinik für Wirbelsaeulenchirurgie

Spitalstrasse 25

79539 Loerrach, Germany

[email protected]



Background: The aim of the present study was to determine for the first time the proportion of patients with or without symptomatic lumbar bilateral spinal stenosis who also have polyneuropathy. Furthermore, a simple test battery for the diagnosis of polyneuropathy in patients with symptomatic and proven central lumbar spinal stenosis should be developed.

Methods: In this study, 70 patients with and 57 patients without symptomatic and MRI-diagnosed lumbar spinal stenosis were clinically examined for polyneuropathy. Among other methods, analyses of variance, a matched-pair design, and stepwise regression analysis were used for evaluation of the results.

Results: Patients with such lumbar spinal stenosis were found to have a highly significant higher incidence of polyneuropathy than those without. A resulting test battery with which spinal stenosis patients could be adequately validated for detection of polyneuropathy in cases of concomitant lumbar central spinal stenosis and required only the following selected items: patellar tendon reflex, vibration sensation in the feet, and allodynia.

Conclusions: On the basis of the results and the sparse data available so far, it seems urgently necessary that controlled prospective studies be conducted as far as possible in order to shed further light on the therapeutic perspectives of the results in particular. Invasive validation of the results requires increased interdisciplinary collaboration.

Keywords: Comorbidity, Spinal Stenosis, Polyneuropathy.

Published online first*

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