Secular Changes of Spinal Canal Dimensions in Western Switzerland: A Narrowing Epidemic?

Schizas C, Schmit A, Schizas A, Becce F, Kulik G, Pierzchała K

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 May 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Contrary to our hypothesis, the 1940-49 generation patient group exhibited larger lumbar canals at all levels as compared to the 1970-79 group.

Given that human stature evolution has stabilized and adult height is established during the first two years of long bone growth, it is possible that antenatal factors are responsible for this surprising finding. Maternal smoking and age may be possible explanations. This finding may have significant implications. An increasing number of patients may emerge with LSS as degenerative changes develop, putting a strain on health resources. Further studies in different population groups and countries will be important in order to confirm this trend.

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