Objectives - This paper compares the diagnostic sensitivity of two tests in lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS): lumbosacral root stimulation with needle electrodes and needle electromyograph (EMG). Material and methods - Twenty patients with LSS were assigned to two groups: Patients with 'neurogenic intermittent claudication' (NIC) only (n = 11), and patients with 'neurological signs' (n = 9). Ten normal subjects were also examined. The effects of direct stimulation of the lumbosacral roots and conventional EMG recorded from important muscles [rectus femoris (RF): L4. tibialis anterior (TA): L5, soleus muscle (SOL): S1]. were compared with each other and correlated with their respective clinical findings and radiological images. Results Needle EMG and nerve conduction study revealed pathology in 15/120 patients, and electrical stimulation of the roots in 17 / 120 patients. Agreement in radiological findings with electrical stimulation of the roots and EMG was found in 12 patients. The other patients were harmonic with radiological findings either in EMG or in electrical stimulation of the roots. Conclusions - Electrical root stimulation revealed more abnormalities in patients with LSS in comparison with needle EMG. However, both methods seemed to complement each other to show additional pathology in a given patient.