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Decompression plus fusion versus decompression alone for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract

Purpose

To compare the clinical effectiveness of decompression plus fusion and decompression alone for patients with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, a systematic review and meta-analysis of all available evidence was performed.

Methods

A search of the literature was conducted on PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Collaboration Library. Relevant studies comparing decompression plus fusion and decompression alone were selected according to eligibility criteria. Predefined endpoints were extracted and meta-analyzed from the identified studies.

Results

Four randomized controlled trials and 13 observational studies were eligible. The pooled data revealed that fusion was associated with significantly higher rates of satisfaction and lower leg pain scores when compared with decompression alone. However, fusion significantly increased the intraoperative blood loss, operative time and hospital stay. Both techniques had similar ODI, back pain scores, complication rate, and reoperation rate.

Conclusions

Based on the available evidence, decompression plus fusion maybe be better than decompression alone in the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis. Fusion had advantages of improvement of clinical satisfaction, as well as reduction of postoperative leg pain, with similar complication rate to decompression alone.

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Correspondence to Qin-Ming Fei.

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Liang, HF., Liu, SH., Chen, ZX. et al. Decompression plus fusion versus decompression alone for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Spine J 26, 3084–3095 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-017-5200-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-017-5200-x

Keywords

  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis
  • Lumbar spine
  • Decompression
  • Fusion
  • Meta-analysis