Background: The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) guideline for the management of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) was first published in 2011. Since then, the medical care system for LSS has changed and many new articles regarding the epidemiology and diagnostics of LSS, conservative treatments such as new pharmacotherapy and physical therapy, and surgical treatments including minimally invasive surgery have been published. In addition, various issues need to be examined, such as verification of patient-reported outcome measures, and the economic effect of revised medical management of patients with lumbar spinal disorders. Accordingly, in 2019 the JOA clinical guidelines committee decided to update the guideline and consequently established a formulation committee. The purpose of this study was to describe the formulation we implemented for the revision of the guideline, incorporating the recent advances of evidence-based medicine. Methods: The JOA LSS guideline formulation committee revised the previous guideline based on the method for preparing clinical guidelines in Japan proposed by the Medical Information Network Distribution Service in 2017. Background and clinical questions were determined followed by a literature search related to each question. Appropriate articles based on keywords were selected from all the searched literature. Using prepared structured abstracts, systematic reviews and meta-analyses were performed. The strength of evidence and recommendations for each clinical question was decided by the committee members. Results: Eight background and 15 clinical questions were determined. Answers and explanations were described for the background questions. For each clinical question, the strength of evidence and the recommendation were both decided, and an explanation was provided. Conclusions: The 2021 clinical practice guideline for the management of LSS was completed according to the latest evidence-based medicine. We expect that this guideline will be useful for all medical providers as an index in daily medical care, as well as for patients with LSS.
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