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Study Design. A prospective, observational survey.

Objectives. To describe lower urinary tract symptoms in uncomplicated lumbar root compression syndromes with special reference to prevalence, nature, and severity, and to analyze whether the occurrence of lower urinary tract symptoms correlates with age, pain, analgesic intake, or the type and level of compression.

Summary of Background Data. Lower urinary tract symptoms with lumbar root compression are well known in the classic but rather rare cauda equina syndrome. However, micturition difficulties seem to be far more frequent in lumbar root compression syndromes.

Methods. One hundred eight male patients admitted for surgery for lumbar disc herniation or spinal stenosis were investigated with an extensive questionnaire about their micturition.

Results. Fifty-five percent had significant lower urinary tract symptoms. Eighty percent of the patients with spinal stenosis had symptoms. Thirty-three patients had irritative symptoms, 36 had obstructive symptoms, and 23 had retention symptoms. Twenty-four had severe symptoms. Median compression resulted in more symptoms than paramedian compression. There was no correlation between age, level of compression, drug intake, or pain score and lower urinary tract symptoms.

Conclusions. Lower urinary tract symptoms of mixed type occur with a high prevalence in male patients with lumbar root compression syndromes referred for neurosurgical evaluation and treatment.

(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.