In general improvement after lumbar decompression surgery is generally favourable. While the outcome of surgery can be variable since some people have more extensive disease than others, most patients can expect to regain improvement in their ability to perform normal daily activities and reduced levels of leg pain and discomfort. Relief from leg symptoms following decompression surgery usually occurs in approximately 70 – 80% of cases. This is not necessarily felt immediately, occasionally over several months.
The results are not nearly as reliable for the relief of lower back pain. Much of the back pain experienced comes from the damaged disc, arthritis of the facet joints and associated muscular spasms, therefore, decompression surgery cannot eliminate this and it should not be regarded as the main aim of the surgery.