The precise incidence of spinal stenosis is unknown. Acquired degenerative spinal stenosis typically becomes symptomatic in patients in their 50s and 60s. Around 80% of women and 95% of men over 65 years have radiographical evidence of degenerative changes, and a large series of myelograms in adults showed stenosis in 1.7% to 6%.[2][3][4] Men and women are equally affected, but spondylolisthesis is more common in women. Lumbar stenosis may be increased in smokers,[5] and patients with lumbar stenosis may have co-existent cervical stenosis.[6] There is no association with ethnicity.

BMJ Best Practice is an evidence-based point of care tool for healthcare practitioners.

To continue reading and access all of BMJ Best Practice's pages you'll need to log in or start a free trial.

You can access through your institution if your hospital, university, trust or other institution provides access to BMJ Best Practice through either OpenAthens or Shibboleth.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer