Instrumented intervertebral or posterolateral fusion in elderly patients Clinical results of a single centerReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders

, 12:189

Orthopedics and biomechanics


BackgroundData on the clinical outcome after spinal fusion in the elderly patient are rare. To our knowledge there has been no clinical outcome assessment for instrumented spinal fusion in elderly patients comparing posterolateral fusion with intervertebral fusion. Aim of the current study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of elderly patients who underwent a spinal fusion procedure for degenerative spinal stenosis with instability. Main hypothesis was to test whether it is necessary to force an intervertebral fusion for a better clinical outcome in spinal fusion surgery of the elderly or not.

MethodsTwo subgroups - posterolateral fusion versus intervertebral fusion cage vs. non-cage were compared with regard to functional outcome, fusion rates and complications after a mean follow up of 3.8 years. Questionnaires were completed by the patients before surgery and at final follow-up. Changes in mean VAS and ODI scores decrease from the baseline VAS and ODI scores were compared.

ResultsThe mean final follow up for all subjects was 3.8 years. Of the 114 patients, 2 patients were deceased at the time of the follow-up, 5 patients didn-t want to participate and 107 patients completed the questionnaires. This resulted in an overall follow-up rate of 93%. At final follow-up, the patients demonstrated significant improvement in the VAS and ODI- compared with the preoperative scores in both groups. But overall there were no significant differences between both groups regarding the outcome assessment using the ODI and VAS.

ConclusionsThe results of this study shows that elderly patients aged over 75 benefit from instrumented lumbar fusion. The study suggests that there is no need to force an intervertebral fusion because elderly patients do not seem to benefit from this procedure.

KeywordsPosterolateral fusion intervertebral fusion elderly outcome Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2474-12-189 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Stefan Endres - Rene Aigner - Axel Wilke


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