A new study will give you something to ponder if you are considering surgery for spinal stenosis. Researchers at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H. have found that by year eight, those patients who had surgery were no better off than the ones who did not. This applied to pain, functioning, and disability. Given the expense of spinal surgery, and all it's attendant risks, you would hope find that patients who had surgery would be better in at least one category. The study found tha 18% of the patients opting for surgery ended up needing more surgery. This does not definitively establish that foregoing surgery is the better idea. But it suggests that time, and not a surgeon, may be the better approach.