Patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS) have impaired activities of daily living because of pain or motor paralysis, but no effective preventive treatment is currently available. The number of patients with LSS is predicted to continually increase as the average age of the global population increases. To provide a conceptual framework for improving healthy life expectancy, the Japanese Orthopaedic Association introduced the concept of locomotive syndrome, to which LSS is related. Ours and other studies have shown that LSS exacerbates locomotive syndrome and that surgical treatment is one method for improving it. Furthermore, we propose that the two-step test, a locomotive syndrome risk test, is effective for assessing the risk for falls and severity of LSS. Meanwhile, lumbar spinal epidural lipomatosis (LSEL), which is a manifestation of LSS, has been shown to be related to metabolic syndrome. Previous studies have suggested that the whole LSS can be also associated with metabolic syndrome. Although locomotive syndrome is very different from metabolic syndrome, which involves lipid metabolism, these two syndromes overlap, such as in LSS. Conducting research on LSS from the perspectives of both locomotive syndrome and metabolic syndrome may lead to novel methods for prevention and treatment of LSS and, conversely, may yield clues for resolving symptoms of the two syndromes. This review provides an overview of LSS from the perspective of locomotive syndrome and metabolic syndrome, along with findings from our research group.
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