Role of redundant nerve roots in clinical manifestations of lumbar spine stenosis

Karim Rizwan Nathani, Komal Naeem, Hamid Hussain Rai, Muhammad Danish Barakzai, Haissan Iftikhar, Saad Akhtar Khan, Fatima Mubarak, S. Ather Enam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Redundant nerve roots (RNRs) are defined as elongated, thickened, and tortious appearing roots of the cauda equina secondary to lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSCS). The study compared the clinical and radiological features of patients with LSCS with versus without RNR. Methods: This retrospective study was performed on 55 patients who underwent decompressive surgery for degenerative LSCS. Patients were divided into two groups based on the presence of RNR in their preoperative magnetic resonance imaging, as evaluated by a radiologist blinded to the study design. Medical records were reviewed for basic demographic, clinical MR presentation, and outcomes utilizing Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores. Results: The mean age of enrolled patients was 57.1, with mean follow-up of 4.0 months. RNR was found in 22 (40%) of patients with LSCS. These patients were older than those patients without RNR (62.2 vs. 53.7). Interestingly, there were no statistically significant differences in clinical presentations, duration of symptoms, and outcomes using JOA scores between the two groups. Conclusion: RNR is a relatively common radiological finding (i.e., 40%) in patients with LSCS. It is more likely to be observed in older patients. However, no significant differences were noted in clinical presentation and functional outcomes with respect to the presence or absence of RNR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number218
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Degenerative spine disease
  • Elongated nerve roots
  • Lumbar spine stenosis
  • Redundant nerve root


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