Clinical Guideline for Treatment of Symptomatic Thoracic Spinal Stenosis

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Thoracic spinal stenosis is a relatively common disorder causing paraplegia in the population of China. Until nowadays, the clinical management of thoracic spinal stenosis is still demanding and challenging with lots of questions remaining to be answered. A clinical guideline for the treatment of symptomatic thoracic spinal stenosis has been created by reaching the consensus of Chinese specialists using the best available evidence as a tool to aid practitioners involved with the care of this disease. In this guideline, many fundamental questions about thoracic spinal stenosis which were controversial have been explained clearly, including the definition of thoracic spinal stenosis, the standard procedure for diagnosing symptomatic thoracic spinal stenosis, indications for surgery, and so on. According to the consensus on the definition of thoracic spinal stenosis, the soft herniation of thoracic discs has been excluded from the pathological factors causing thoracic spinal stenosis. The procedure for diagnosing thoracic spinal stenosis has been quite mature, while the principles for selecting operative procedures remain to be improved. This guideline will be updated on a timely schedule and adhering to its recommendations should not be mandatory because it does not have the force of law.

This clinical guideline for symptomatic thoracic spinal stenosis has been developed by ninety‚Äźseven spinal surgery specialists from mainland China and is for spinal surgeons to consult with the aim of standardizing their diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and improving the clinical outcomes of patients with symptomatic thoracic spinal stenosis. A project team from Peking University Third Hospital was responsible for the drafting this guideline, this team being financially supported by a grant from the Science and Technology Commission of Beijing. This guideline will be updated in future to incorporate progress in fundamental research and clinical practices. Because this guideline does not have the force of law, adhering to its recommendations is not mandatory. Should litigation occur, this guideline cannot be used as a legal justification of treatment choices.

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Journal of Orthopedic Oncology

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