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Table 1 Overview of the six systematic reviews and author’s conclusions

From: Arguments for the choice of surgical treatments in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis – a systematic appraisal of randomized controlled trials

Author Year Objective Author’s conclusion
Chou D [29] 2011 To compare the effectiveness and morbidity of interspinous-device placement versus surgical decompression for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. The indirect treatment effect for disability and pain favors the interspinous device compared to decompression. The low evidence suggests that any further research is very likely to have an important impact on the confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate. No significant treatment effect differences were observed for postoperative walking distance improvement or complication rates; however, findings should be considered with caution because of indirect comparisons and short follow-up periods.
Gibson [30] 2005 The objective of this review was to assess current scientific evidence on the effectiveness of surgical interventions for degenerative lumbar spondylosis. Limited evidence is now available to support some aspects of surgical practice. Surgeons should be encouraged to perform further RCTs in this field.
Jarrett [31] 2012 The aim of this review was to systematically examine the effectiveness of land based exercise compared with decompressive surgery in the management of patients with LSS. This systematic review of the recent literature demonstrates that decompressive surgery is more effective than land based exercise in the management of LSS. However, given the condition’s slowly progressive nature and the potential for known surgical complications, it is recommended that a trial of conservative management with land based exercise be considered prior to consideration of surgical intervention.
Kovacs [32] 2011 To compare the effectiveness of surgery versus conservative treatment on pain, disability, and loss of quality of life caused by symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). In patients with symptomatic LSS, the implantation of a specific type of device or decompressive surgery, with or without fusion, is more effective than continued conservative treatment when the latter has failed for 3 to 6 months.
May [8] 2013 To explore the effectiveness of surgery vs conservative treatment, and conservative interventions for spinal stenosis. At present, there is no evidence that favours the effect of any conservative management for spinal stenosis.
Moojen [33] 2011 The main objective of this review was to perform a meta-analysis of all systematic reviews, randomized clinical trials and prospective cohort series to quantify the effectiveness of interspinous process distractions (IPDs) and to evaluate the potential side effects. As the evidence is relatively low and the costs are high, more thorough (cost-) effectiveness studies should be performed before worldwide implementation is introduced.