International Orthopaedics

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1135–1142 | Cite as

Interspinous spacers versus posterior lumbar interbody fusion for degenerative lumbar spinal diseases: a meta-analysis of prospective studies

  • Yifeng Cai
  • Jiaquan Luo
  • Junjun Huang
  • Chengjie Lian
  • Hang Zhou
  • Hao Yao
  • Peiqiang SuEmail author
Original Paper



Our aim is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of interspinous spacers versus posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) for degenerative lumbar spinal diseases.


A comprehensive literature search was performed using PubMed, Web of Science and Cochrane Library through September 2015. Included studies were performed according to eligibility criteria. Data of complication rate, post-operative back visual analogue scale (VAS) score, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score, estimated blood loss (EBL), operative time, length of hospital stay (LOS), range of motion (ROM) at the surgical, proximal and distal segments were extracted and analyzed.


Ten studies were selected from 177 citations. The pooled data demonstrated the interspinous spacers group had a lower estimated blood loss (weighted mean difference [WMD]: −175.66 ml; 95 % confidence interval [CI], −241.03 to −110.30; p < 0.00001), shorter operative time (WMD: −55.47 min; 95%CI, −74.29 to −36.65; p < 0.00001), larger range of motion (ROM) at the surgical segment (WMD: 3.97 degree; 95%CI, −3.24 to −1.91; p < 0.00001) and more limited ROM at the proximal segment (WMD: −2.58 degree; 95%CI, 2.48 to 5.47; p < 0.00001) after operation. Post-operative back VAS score, ODI score, length of hospital stay, complication rate and ROM at the distal segment showed no difference between the two groups.


Our meta-analysis suggested that interspinous spacers appear to be a safe and effective alternative to PLIF for selective patients with degenerative lumbar spinal diseases. However, more randomized controlled trials (RCT) are still needed to further confirm our results.


Interspinous spacer PLIF Degenerative lumbar spinal diseases Meta-analysis 



Thanks are due to Taifeng Zhou and Chong Chen for valuable discussion.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yifeng Cai
    • 1
  • Jiaquan Luo
    • 2
  • Junjun Huang
    • 3
  • Chengjie Lian
    • 3
  • Hang Zhou
    • 2
  • Hao Yao
    • 1
  • Peiqiang Su
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Zhongshan School of MedicineSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of OrthopaedicsFirst Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of OrthopaedicsSun Yat-sen Memorial HospitalGuangzhouChina

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