Complications Associated with Surgical Treatment of Adult Spondylolisthesis

  • Khalid Abbed
  • William E. NewayIII


There are numerous surgical procedures that exist for the treatment of adult spondylolisthesis. The goal of these procedures is the same despite their technical differences: neurologic decompression, achieving solid fusion and +/− spondylolisthesis reduction. Likewise, the complications associated with these procedures are similar. The following is a summary of the most commonly encountered complications associated with the surgical management of adult spondylolisthesis and their recommended management. Pseudoarthrosis is the most common complication that occurs in lumbar spine fusion surgery. It can be a diagnostic challenge and requires a thorough investigation. Neurologic injuries can occur in various forms from dural tears to paralysis. While achieving a solid fusion is the goal, slip progression and instrumentation failure may occur in the process. The risk associated with these complications depends on the various surgical procedures that are undertaken. This chapter reviews the most common complications associated with the surgical treatment of adult spondylolisthesis and their management.


Complications Spondylolisthesis Degenerative Pseudoarthrosis Cauda equina syndrome Slip progression Instrumentation failure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryYale School of Medicine, Yale Spine InstituteNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Spine ServiceUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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