Various factors, including spinal deformities and trunk muscle atrophy, greatly affect the fall risk among older adults with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). However, the etiology of falls in older adults with degenerative LSS and trunk muscle atrophy is poorly understood. We investigated the association between trunk muscle atrophy and falls in older LSS patients. This retrospective study included 99 hospitalized older adults with LSS. Participants completed self-reported fall score questionnaires and were divided into the fall risk (n = 30) and non-fall risk (n = 69) groups. The patients' low back pain visual analog scale score, Geriatric Depression Scale score, sagittal vertical axis, L4/5 lumbar multifidus cross-sectional area ratio (LMCSAR), and center of pressure (COP) values during quiet standing were evaluated. The fall risk group had a lower L4/5 LMCSAR (p = 0.002) and increased COP excursion (p = 0.034) than the non-fall risk group. No significant differences were observed in the other measured variables between the two groups. The L4/5 LMCSAR (p < 0.001) and COP (p = 0.024) were related to fall risk and may be useful in fall risk assessment in such populations. Strategies aimed at enhancing controlled lumbar segmental motion and improving trunk muscle stability or mass may decrease the fall risk in this cohort.
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