European Spine Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 686–690 | Cite as

The diagnostic value of a treadmill test in predicting lumbar spinal stenosis

  • Thomas Barz
  • Markus Melloh
  • Lukas Staub
  • Christoph Roeder
  • Jörn Lange
  • Franz-Georg Smiszek
  • Jean-Claude Theis
  • Harry R. Merk
Original Article

Abstract

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a frequent indication for spinal surgery. The predictive quality of treadmill testing and MRI for diagnostic verification is not yet clearly defined. Aim of the current study was to assess correlations between treadmill testing and MRI findings in the lumbar spine. Twenty-five patients with lumbar spinal stenosis were prospectively examined. Treadmill tests were performed and the area of the dural sac and neuroforamina was examined with MRI for the narrowest spinal segment. VAS and ODI were used for clinical assessment. The median age of the patients was 67 years. In the narrowest spinal segment the median area of the dural sac was 91 mm2. The median ODI was 66 per cent. The median walking distance in the treadmill test was 70 m. The distance reached in the treadmill test correlated with the area of the dural sac (Spearman’s ρ = 0.53) and ODI (ρ = −0.51), but not with the area of the neuroforamina and VAS. The distance reached in the treadmill test predicts the grade of stenosis in MRI but has a limited diagnostic importance for the level of clinical symptoms in lumbar spinal stenosis.

Keywords

Spinal stenosis Treadmill test MRI Spine Spinal canal 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Barz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Markus Melloh
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lukas Staub
    • 3
  • Christoph Roeder
    • 3
  • Jörn Lange
    • 1
  • Franz-Georg Smiszek
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Theis
    • 4
  • Harry R. Merk
    • 1
  1. 1.Spine Center, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Spine Unit, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryAsklepios Klinikum UckermarkSchwedt/OderGermany
  3. 3.MEM Research Center for Orthopaedic Surgery, Institute for Evaluative Research in Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryDunedin Public Hospital, University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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