European Spine Journal

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 2153–2159 | Cite as

Surgical versus nonsurgical treatment of lumbar degenerative kyphosis

  • Tae Sik Goh
  • Jong Ki Shin
  • Myung Soo Youn
  • Hong Seok Lee
  • Taek Hoon Kim
  • Jung Sub Lee
Original Article



Surgery is widely performed for lumbar degenerative kyphosis (LDK), but its effectiveness as compared with nonsurgical treatment has not been demonstrated.


In this prospective study, surgical candidates with LDK were enrolled at three spine centres. Two treatment options were performed either surgery using a pedicle subtraction osteotomy or nonsurgical care. Outcomes were measured using a Visual analogue scale (VAS) of back pain as a primary endpoint, the Oswestry disability index (ODI), the 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36), sagittal vertical axis (SVA) and treatment-related complications.


Of the 126 LDK patients treated during the reference period, 97 patients were enrolled (47 in the surgical group and 50 in the nonsurgical group). Surgical group produced statistically reduced VAS of back pain and better functional outcomes than nonsurgical group since 12 months after treatment, but the rate of serious complications was higher after surgery. Interestingly, both surgical and nonsurgical groups had improved outcomes in terms of pain intensity and function at the 2-year follow-up period.


Surgery might be a preferred treatment option for LDK, but great caution is needed. And conservative treatment could be the considerable treatment option for LDK who is unwilling or has poor medical condition to operate.


Lumbar degenerative kyphosis Surgery Conservative Pedicle subtraction osteotomy Nonsurgical 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tae Sik Goh
    • 1
  • Jong Ki Shin
    • 1
  • Myung Soo Youn
    • 2
  • Hong Seok Lee
    • 3
  • Taek Hoon Kim
    • 1
  • Jung Sub Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical Research InstitutePusan National University School of MedicineBusanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryMyungeun HospitalBusanRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Lee Hong Seok Orthopaedic HospitalBusanRepublic of Korea

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