Does functional evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging finding in a case of lumbar canal stenosis co-relate: a study of 50 cases


  • Naushad Hussain TNMC and BYL Medical College, Nair Hospital, Mumbai, India
  • Nirmal Dhananjay Patil TNMC and BYL Medical College, Nair Hospital, Mumbai, India
  • Akash Shakya TNMC and BYL Medical College, Nair Hospital, Mumbai, India
  • Kalpesh Prakash Saindane TNMC and BYL Medical College, Nair Hospital, Mumbai, India



Lumbar canal stenosis, MRI, Functional, Oswestery disability index


Background: Lumbar canal stenosis is a clinical diagnosis. MRI is used many times for making the diagnosis. But does the severity of MRI findings co-relate with functional status?

Methods: 50 cases of central lumbar canal stenosis were included in the study. The MRI findings and Oswestery Disability Index score were compared.

Results: 50% of patients with severe ODI score had no Stenosis in the MRI. MRI findings do not co-relate with the functional severity of the disease (p=0.03).

Conclusions: MRI and ODI score does not co-relate. This study reinforces the fact that one should always treat the patient and not the MRI. 


Verbiest H. Results of surgical treatment of idiopathic developmental stenosis of the lumbar vertebral canal. A review of twenty-seven years’ experience. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1977;59:181-8.

Bolender NF, Schonstrom NS, Spengler DM. Role of computed tomography and myelography in the diagnosis of central spinal stenosis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1985;67(2):240-6.

Wilson CB, Ehni G, Grollmus J. Neurogenic intermittent claudication. Clin Neurosurg. 1971;18:62-85.

Delamarter RB, Bohlman HH, Dodge LD, Biro C. Experimental lumbar spinal stenosis. Analysis of the cortical evoked potentials, microvasculature, and histopathology. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1990;72:110-20.

Amundsen T, Weber H, Lilleås F, Nordal HJ, Abdelnoor M, Magnaes B. Lumbar spinal stenosis: clinical and radiologic features. Spine. 1995;20:1178-86.

Arbit E, Pannullo S. Lumbar stenosis. A clinical review. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2001;384:137-43.

Weishaupt D, Schmid MR, Zanetti M. Positional MR Imaging of the lumbar spine: does it demonstrate nerve root compromise not visible at conventional MR Imaging? Radiology. 2000;215:247-53.

Sirvanci M, Bhatia M, Ganiyusufoglu KA. Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis: correlation with Oswestry Disability Index and MR imaging. Eur Spine J. 2008;17:679-85.

Lohman CM, Tallroth K, Kettunen JA, Lindgren K. Comparison of Radiologic Signs and Clinical Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis. Spine. 1995;31(16):1834-40.

Athiviraham A, Scott C, Soboleski D, Yen D. Clinical correlation of radiologic spinal stenosis after standardization for vertebral body size. Clin Radiol. 2007;62(8):776-80.

Karantanas AH, Zibis AH, Papaliaga M, Georgiou E, Rousogiannis S. Dimensions of the lumbar spinal canal: variations and correlations with somatometric parameters using CT. Eur Radiol. 1998;8(9):1581-5.

Kornblum MB, Fischgrund JS, Herkowitz HN. Degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis: a prospective long-term study comparing fusion and pseudarthrosis. Spine. 2004;29:726-33.






Original Research Articles