European Spine Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 789–794 | Cite as

The effect of decompressive surgery on lumbar paraspinal and biceps brachii muscle function and movement perception in lumbar spinal stenosis: a 2-year follow-up

  • Tommi KääriäinenEmail author
  • Simo Taimela
  • Timo Aalto
  • Heikki Kröger
  • Arto Herno
  • Veli Turunen
  • Sakari Savolainen
  • Markku Kankaanpää
  • Olavi Airaksinen
  • Ville Leinonen
Original Article



Chronic low back pain and lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) seem to deteriorate lumbar muscle function and proprioception but the effect of surgery on them remains unclear. This study evaluates the effect of decompressive surgery on lumbar movement perception and paraspinal and biceps brachii (BB) muscle responses during sudden upper limb loading in LSS.


Low back and radicular pain intensity (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were measured together with lumbar proprioception and paraspinal and BB muscle responses prior to and 3 and 24 months after surgery in 30 LSS patients. Lumbar proprioception was assessed by a previously validated motorized trunk rotation unit and muscle responses for sudden upper limb loading by surface EMG.


Lumbar perception threshold improved after surgery during 3-month follow-up (from 4.6° to 3.1°, P = 0.015) but tend to deteriorate again during 24 months (4.0°, P = 0.227). Preparatory paraspinal and BB muscle responses prior to sudden load as well as paraspinal muscle activation latencies after the load remained unchanged.


Impaired lumbar proprioception seems to improve shortly after decompressive surgery but tends to deteriorate again with longer follow-up despite the sustaining favorable clinical outcome. The surgery did not affect either the feed-forward or the feed-back muscle function, which indicates that the abnormal muscle activity in LSS is at least partly irreversible.


Lumbar proprioception Paraspinal reflexes Feed-forward control Decompressive surgery Lumbar spinal stenosis 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tommi Kääriäinen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Simo Taimela
    • 4
  • Timo Aalto
    • 5
  • Heikki Kröger
    • 1
    • 3
  • Arto Herno
    • 2
  • Veli Turunen
    • 1
  • Sakari Savolainen
    • 6
  • Markku Kankaanpää
    • 7
  • Olavi Airaksinen
    • 2
  • Ville Leinonen
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics, Traumatology and HandsurgeryKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of Physical and Rehabilitation MedicineKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland
  3. 3.Bone and Cartilage Research Unit, Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  4. 4.Evalua InternationalHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Lääkärikeskus IkiomaMedical Center IkiomaSt MichelFinland
  6. 6.Department of NeurosurgeryKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland
  7. 7.Department of Physical and Rehabilitation MedicineTampere University HospitalTampereFinland

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