Degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis. A prospective study comparing decompression with decompression and intertransverse process arthrodesis.

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Fifty patients who had spinal stenosis associated with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis were prospectively studied clinically and radiographically to determine if concomitant intertransverse-process arthrodesis provided better results than decompressive laminectomy alone. There were thirty-six women and fourteen men. The mean age of the twenty-five patients who had had an arthrodesis was 63.5 years and that of the twenty-five patients who had not had an arthrodesis, sixty-five years. The level of the operation was between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae in forty-one patients and between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae in nine patients. The patients were followed for a mean of three years (range, 2.4 to four years). In the patients who had had a concomitant arthrodesis, the results were significantly better with respect to relief of pain in the back and lower limbs.

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