Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 137, Issue 5, pp 637–650 | Cite as

Effectiveness of decompression alone versus decompression plus fusion for lumbar spinal stenosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Wenli Chang
  • Peizhi Yuwen
  • Yanbing Zhu
  • Ning Wei
  • Chen Feng
  • Yingze Zhang
  • Wei Chen
Orthopaedic Surgery

Abstract

Introduction

The debate on efficacy of fusion added to decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is ongoing. No meta-analysis has compared the effectiveness of decompression versus decompression plus fusion in treating patients with LSS.

Methods

A literature search was performed in the Web of Science, PubMed, Embase, and Springer databases from 1970 to 2016. Relevant references were selected and the included studies were manually reviewed. We included trials evaluating decompression surgery compared to decompression plus fusion surgery in treating patients with LSS. The primary outcomes analyzed were back pain, leg pain, Oswestry Disability Index scores (ODI), the quality-of-life EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D), duration of operation, intraoperative blood loss, length of hospital stay, major complications, walking ability, number of reoperation, and finally clinically excellent and good rates. Data analysis was conducted using the Review Manager 5.2 software.

Results

Fifteen studies involving 17,785 patients with LSS were included. The overall effect mean difference (MD) (95% CI) in the differences between pre- and post-operative back pain, leg pain, operative time, intraoperative blood loss, and length of stay were 0.04 (−0.36, 0.44), 0.69 (−0.38, 1.76), −2.04 (−3.12, −0.96), −3.96 (−6.64, −1.27) and −4.21 (−10.03, 1.62) (z = 0.18, 1.26, 3.71, 2.89 and 1.41, respectively; P = 0.86, 0.55, 0.0002, 0.004 and 0.16, respectively) in random effects models. The overall effect MD (95% CI) in ODI, EQ-5D, and walking ability were 0.43 (−1.15, 2.00), 0.01 (−0.01, 0.03) and 0.04 (−0.49, 0.57) (z = 0.52, 1.16 and 0.15, respectively; P = 0.59, 0.24 and 0.88, respectively) in fixed effects models. The overall effect odds ratio (OR) (95% CI) of major complications, number of reoperations, and clinically excellent and good rates between the two groups were 0.70 (0.60, 0.81), 1.04 (0.90, 1.19) and 0.31 (0.06, 1.59) (z = 4.63, 0.53 and 1.40, respectively; P < 0.00001, 0.60 and 0.16, respectively). Our study reveals no difference in the effectiveness between the two surgical techniques.

Conclusions

The additional fusion in the management of LSS yielded no clinical improvements over decompression alone within a 2-year follow-up period. But fusion resulted in a longer duration of operation, more blood loss, and a higher risk of complications. Therefore, the appropriate surgical protocol for LSS should be discussed further.

Keywords

Lumbar spinal stenosis Degenerative spondylolisthesis Decompression Fusion Meta-analysis 

Abbreviations

JOA score

Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring system

LSS

Lumbar spinal stenosis

DS

Degenerative spondylolisthesis

MD

Mean difference

OR

Odd ratio

LDD

Lumbar degenerative diseases

ODI

Oswestry Disability Index scores

EQ-5D

The quality-of-life EuroQol-5 Dimensions

RCT

Randomized, controlled trial

VAS

Visual analogue score

NOS

The classic Newcastle–Ottawa Scale

ULBD

Unilateral laminotomy with bilateral decompression

LBP

Low back pain

DDD

Degenerative disc disease

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenli Chang
    • 1
  • Peizhi Yuwen
    • 1
  • Yanbing Zhu
    • 1
  • Ning Wei
    • 1
  • Chen Feng
    • 1
  • Yingze Zhang
    • 1
  • Wei Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryThe Third Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangPeople’s Republic of China

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