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April 21, 2010

Diagnosing Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

JAMA. 2010;303(15):1479-1481. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.438

To the Editor: As Drs Haig and Tomkins1 noted in their Commentary on diagnosis and management of lumbar spinal stenosis, the North American Spine Society (NASS) guideline defines degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis as “a clinical syndrome of buttock or lower extremity pain, which may occur with or without back pain, associated with diminished space available for the neural and vascular elements in the lumbar spine.”2 This definition requires that patients have both clinical symptoms and anatomical findings consistent with stenosis.