Low Back Pain in Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis—Hemodynamic and electrophysiological study of the lumbar multifidus muscles


Yoshihito Sakai1), Sadayuki Ito1), Tetsuro Hida2), Kenyu Ito2), Hiroyuki Koshimizu1), Atsushi Harada1)

1) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Japan
2) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan


Introduction: Several studies have demonstrated improvement in low back pain (LBP) after decompression surgery for lower extremity symptoms in lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS); however, the influence of neuropathic disorders on LBP is uncertain. Aim of this study is to identify the features of motion-induced and walking-induced LBP in patients with LSS and to assess whether neuropathic LBP develops.
Methods: In total, 234 patients with LSS including L4/5 lesion were asked to identify their LBP. Subjects were classified into three groups: walking-induced LBP that aggravated during walking (W group), motion-induced LBP that aggravated during sitting up (M group), and no LBP (N group). Cross-sectional areas of the dural sac, lumbar multifidus, and the erector spinae were measured. Intramuscular oxygenation was evaluated with near-infrared spectrophotometer. Surface electromyography (EMG) and mechanomyography (MMG) were performed on the lumbar multifidus. Morphological, hemodynamic, and electrophysiological differences in the onset of LBP were evaluated.
Results: The prevalence of W, M, and control groups was 31.2%, 32.1%, 36.8%, respectively. Concordance between the laterality of LBP and leg symptoms including pain and numbness was 86.3% in the W group and 47.0% in the M group. Dural sac area was lower in the W group than in the M and control groups. In the hemodynamic evaluation, the oxygenated hemoglobin level was significantly lower in the W group than in the M and N groups. In electrophysiological evaluation of lumbar multifidus, the mean power frequency in EMG was significantly higher in the W group than in the N group. Amplitude in MMG was significantly lower in the W group than in the N group.
Conclusions: Neurologic disturbance in patients with LSS may be attributed to "neuropathic LBP." Neuropathic multifidus disorder plays a role in walking-induced LBP.

Released: April 27, 2017; doi: dx.doi.org/10.22603/ssrr.1.2016-0016