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Concept: Spondylolisthesis


INTRODUCTION: Spondylolysis is most commonly observed in the lumbar spine, particularly L5, and is associated with spondylolisthesis, or anterior “slippage” of a vertebra in relation to an adjacent vertebra. Isthmic spondylolisthesis is the result of a pars interarticularis defect and will be the only type of spondylolisthesis addressed in this review. CONCLUSIONS: Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis represent a relatively common cause of low back pain, especially in young athletes, and a less common cause of neurologic compromise. When discovered in a symptomatic patient with corroborating imaging findings, early intervention provides an excellent prognosis. Herein, we review the anatomy and pathology of spondylosis and spondylolisthesis of the L5 vertebra.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Lumbar vertebrae, Vertebra, Spondylolisthesis, Medical school, Spondylolysis, Pars interarticularis


Prospective, Nonrandomized study OBJECTIVES:: To assess the accuracy of o-arm navigation based pedicle screw insertion in lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis and compare it with free hand pedicle screw insertion technique in matched population.

Concepts: Spondylolisthesis


Background The efficacy of fusion surgery in addition to decompression surgery in patients who have lumbar spinal stenosis, with or without degenerative spondylolisthesis, has not been substantiated in controlled trials. Methods We randomly assigned 247 patients between 50 and 80 years of age who had lumbar spinal stenosis at one or two adjacent vertebral levels to undergo either decompression surgery plus fusion surgery (fusion group) or decompression surgery alone (decompression-alone group). Randomization was stratified according to the presence of preoperative degenerative spondylolisthesis (in 135 patients) or its absence. Outcomes were assessed with the use of patient-reported outcome measures, a 6-minute walk test, and a health economic evaluation. The primary outcome was the score on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI; which ranges from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more severe disability) 2 years after surgery. The primary analysis, which was a per-protocol analysis, did not include the 14 patients who did not receive the assigned treatment and the 5 who were lost to follow-up. Results There was no significant difference between the groups in the mean score on the ODI at 2 years (27 in the fusion group and 24 in the decompression-alone group, P=0.24) or in the results of the 6-minute walk test (397 m in the fusion group and 405 m in the decompression-alone group, P=0.72). Results were similar between patients with and those without spondylolisthesis. Among the patients who had 5 years of follow-up and were eligible for inclusion in the 5-year analysis, there were no significant differences between the groups in clinical outcomes at 5 years. The mean length of hospitalization was 7.4 days in the fusion group and 4.1 days in the decompression-alone group (P<0.001). Operating time was longer, the amount of bleeding was greater, and surgical costs were higher in the fusion group than in the decompression-alone group. During a mean follow-up of 6.5 years, additional lumbar spine surgery was performed in 22% of the patients in the fusion group and in 21% of those in the decompression-alone group. Conclusions Among patients with lumbar spinal stenosis, with or without degenerative spondylolisthesis, decompression surgery plus fusion surgery did not result in better clinical outcomes at 2 years and 5 years than did decompression surgery alone. (Funded by an Uppsala institutional Avtal om Läkarutbildning och Forskning [Agreement concerning Cooperation on Medical Education and Research] and others; Swedish Spinal Stenosis Study number, NCT01994512 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Surgery, Statistical significance, Vertebral column, Randomness, Spondylolisthesis, Spinal stenosis


This study is a therapeutic retrospective cohort study OBJECTIVES.: This study aims to determine whether sexual function is relevant for patients with spinal stenosis (SPS) and degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) and to determine the impact of operative inter vqAvention on sexual function for these patients.

Concepts: Cohort study, Sexual intercourse, Cohort, Spondylolisthesis, Spinal stenosis, Human sexual behavior, Human sexuality, Orgasm


Background The comparative effectiveness of performing instrumented (rigid pedicle screws affixed to titanium alloy rods) lumbar spinal fusion in addition to decompressive laminectomy in patients with symptomatic lumbar grade I degenerative spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis is unknown. Methods In this randomized, controlled trial, we assigned patients, 50 to 80 years of age, who had stable degenerative spondylolisthesis (degree of spondylolisthesis, 3 to 14 mm) and symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis to undergo either decompressive laminectomy alone (decompression-alone group) or laminectomy with posterolateral instrumented fusion (fusion group). The primary outcome measure was the change in the physical-component summary score of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36; range, 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better quality of life) 2 years after surgery. The secondary outcome measure was the score on the Oswestry Disability Index (range, 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more disability related to back pain). Patients were followed for 4 years. Results A total of 66 patients (mean age, 67 years; 80% women) underwent randomization. The rate of follow-up was 89% at 1 year, 86% at 2 years, and 68% at 4 years. The fusion group had a greater increase in SF-36 physical-component summary scores at 2 years after surgery than did the decompression-alone group (15.2 vs. 9.5, for a difference of 5.7; 95% confidence interval, 0.1 to 11.3; P=0.046). The increases in the SF-36 physical-component summary scores in the fusion group remained greater than those in the decompression-alone group at 3 years and at 4 years (P=0.02 for both years). With respect to reductions in disability related to back pain, the changes in the Oswestry Disability Index scores at 2 years after surgery did not differ significantly between the study groups (-17.9 in the decompression-alone group and -26.3 in the fusion group, P=0.06). More blood loss and longer hospital stays occurred in the fusion group than in the decompression-alone group (P<0.001 for both comparisons). The cumulative rate of reoperation was 14% in the fusion group and 34% in the decompression-alone group (P=0.05). Conclusions Among patients with degenerative grade I spondylolisthesis, the addition of lumbar spinal fusion to laminectomy was associated with slightly greater but clinically meaningful improvement in overall physical health-related quality of life than laminectomy alone. (Funded by the Jean and David Wallace Foundation and others; SLIP number, NCT00109213 .).

Concepts: Spondylolisthesis, Spinal stenosis, Failed back syndrome


The hypothesis that spondylolysis (SL) and/or isthmic spondylolisthesis (IS) cause low back pain (LBP) is widely accepted representing surgical indication in symptomatic cases. If SL/IS cause LBP, individuals with these conditions should be more prone to LBP than those without SL/IS. Therefore, the goal of the study was to assess whether the published primary data demonstrate an association between SL/IS and LBP in the general adult population.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Back pain, Lumbar vertebrae, Spondylolisthesis, Spondylolysis


Lumbar spinal stenosis is typically caused by degenerative facet-joint arthrosis and leads to compression of the nerves, resulting in walking disability and leg pain in the elderly. The use of surgical decompression alone to treat lumbar spinal stenosis declined slightly in the United States between 2002 and 2007, whereas the use of a combined procedure of decompression and fusion increased by a factor of 15 during this period.(1) Evidence showing a benefit of adding fusion to decompression surgery is lacking, even in the subgroup of patients who have degenerative spondylolisthesis (a slip of adjacent vertebrae caused by facet-joint arthrosis).(2), . . .

Concepts: Hospital, United States, Surgery, U.S. state, Neurosurgery, Spondylolisthesis, Spinal stenosis, Geriatrics


Although direct repair (DR) with screw fixation at the pars defect is a common surgical treatment for lumbar spondylolysis, it is unknown whether DR leads to better outcomes for young patients with spondylolysis than traditional non-surgical treatment.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Lumbar vertebrae,, Spondylolisthesis, Skeletal disorders, Conservatism, Spondylolysis, Pars interarticularis


The aim of this paper was to systematically review the diagnostic ability of clinical tests to detect lumbar spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. A systematic literature search of six databases, with no language restrictions, from 1950 to 2014 was concluded on February 1, 2014. Clinical tests were required to be compared against imaging reference standards and report, or allow computation, of common diagnostic values. The systematic search yielded a total of 5164 articles with 57 retained for full-text examination, from which 4 met the full inclusion criteria for the review. Study heterogeneity precluded a meta-analysis of included studies. Fifteen different clinical tests were evaluated for their ability to diagnose lumbar spondylolisthesis and one test for its ability to diagnose lumbar spondylolysis. The one-legged hyperextension test demonstrated low to moderate sensitivity (50%-73%) and low specificity (17%-32%) to diagnose lumbar spondylolysis, while the lumbar spinous process palpation test was the optimal diagnostic test for lumbar spondylolisthesis; returning high specificity (87%-100%) and moderate to high sensitivity (60-88) values. Lumbar spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis are identifiable causes of LBP in athletes. There appears to be utility to lumbar spinous process palpation for the diagnosis of lumbar spondylolisthesis, however the one-legged hyperextension test has virtually no value in diagnosing patients with spondylolysis.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Systematic review, Sensitivity and specificity, Lumbar vertebrae, Spondylolisthesis, Meta-analysis, Study heterogeneity, Spondylolysis


In instrumented posterolateral fusion reduction of a spondylolisthesis is appealing on theoretical grounds since this may lead to indirect decompression of the entrapped nerve roots. However, there is no consensus in the literature whether a beneficial effect of reduction on outcome can be expected. The objective of the current study was to evaluate whether a correlation between the extent of listhesis reduction and clinical improvement could be established.

Concepts: Spondylolisthesis, The Current