Material and Methods

  • Auguste Wackenheim


We retain Verbiest’s criteria for diagnosing lumbar canalar stenosis as concerns the mea-surements as well as the pathomorphology. Since not all of our patients had had contrast examinations performed, some cases were diagnosed from the plain films alone. Verbiest (57–66) defined developmental stenosis as an ossification disturbance developing after birth, involving only the posterior vertebral arch and resulting in stenosis of the bony vertebral lumbar canal. Being a surgeon, Verbiest attaches prominent importance to peroperative measurements and thus introduces the notion of decreased canalar diameters in the definition: “a form of compressive stenosis caused by abnormal shortness of its sagittal and/or its transverse diameters as a result of changes in its walls”. He goes as far as to say: “for practical reasons we have followed the last method, accepting interpedicular distances smaller than 17 mm and midsagittal diameters smaller than 12 mm as too short.” We adopt Verbiest’s classification of congenital stenosis: “existing at or before birth; the term congenital stenosis indicates a malformation and refers to a condition which certainly existed at birth. The diagnosis can be made, if stenosis is discovered during early infancy, or, if discovered at a later age, it is accompanied by other malformations in the lumbar area such as vertebral malformations, malformations of the spinal cord or congenital tumors.”


Lumbar Spine Plain Film Ring Finger Distal Phalanx Articular Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Auguste Wackenheim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyStrasbourg CedexFrance

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