Background Spinal stenosis is narrowing of spinal canal, nerve root canal and intervertebral foramen under a critical value. Spinal degeneration is the most important reason for spinal stenosis. In most of the patient locomotor system examination is non-specific. Therefore detailed radiological examination should be done in order to make a definite diagnosis of spinal stenosis.
Objectives This study was carried out to investigate the correlation between lumbar spinal canal dimensions and clinical findings of patients who have suspected to have spinal stenosis.
Methods Forty patients (29 female,11 male) were taken into this study. Detailed physical examination of locomotor system was done for each patient (lumbar range of motion, pain in lumbar extension, milligram test, muscle strength, deep tendon reflexes and sensory deficit).
CT scan of L3-L5 vertebrae level were done in order to measure A-P diameter of spinal canal, interpedicular distance, pedicular height.
Mann-Whitney U test was used for statistical analysis of data.
Results We observed significant correlation between clinical findings of milligram test, pain in lumbar extansion, sensory deficit in lower extremities, deep tendon reflexes deficiency and some of CT scan results (A-P diameter and interpedicular distance of L4-L5) of patients who have spinal stenosis. There was no significant correlation between spinal stenosis and clinical findings of muscle strength deficit and lumbar ROM limitation
Conclusion We concluded that CT scan measurement and clinical findings of spinal stenosis correlate well. However soft tissues couldn’t be evaluated properly and it is well known that these tissues may lead to spinal stenosis too. MRI is expensive and CT-myelography is not so easy to apply. Because of that CT is a useful technique when compared to others.
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