Adding Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion to Pedicle Screw Fixation and Posterolateral Fusion After Decompression in Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis

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Study DesignThis is a retrospective study analyzing 76 patients treated by decompression, pedicle screw instrumentation, and fusion for spondylolytic spondylolisthesis with symptomatic spinal stenosis.ObjectivesTo verify the advantages of adding posterior lumbar interbody fusion to the usual posterolateral fusion with pedicle screw instrumentation.Summary of Background DataStabilization after decompression of spondylolytic spondylolisthesis is difficult because of a lack of fusional bone bases, gap between the transverse process bases, and incompetent anterior disc support. Posterior lumbar interbody fusion offers anterior support, reduction, and a broad fusion base.MethodsForty patients were treated with posterolateral fusion, and 36 were treated with additional posterior lumbar interbody fusion. They were compared for union, reduction of the deformity, and clinical results.ResultsThe patients were followed up for more than 2 years. Nonunion was observed in three patients who underwent posterolateral fusion (7.5%), and no cases of nonunion was found in patients who underwent posterior lumbar interbody fusion. Reduction of slippage was 28.3% in those who underwent posterolateral fusion and 41.6% in those who had posterior lumbar interbody fusion (P < 0.05). In the posterolateral fusion group, eight patients (20%) had recurrence of deformity, with loss of reduction more than 50%. Hardware failures occurred in two patients who had posterolateral fusion. There was no major neurologic complications in both groups. Both groups had satisfactory results in more than 90% of patients, with marked improvement of claudication. However, subjective improvement of back pain by Kirkaldy-Willis criteria revealed differences in the excellent results. An excellent result was reported by 45% in the posterolateral fusion group and by 75% in posterior lumbar interbody fusion group.ConclusionsThe addition of posterior lumbar interbody fusion to posterolateral fusion after a complete decompression and pedicle screw fixation is a recommended procedure for the treatment of spondylolytic spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis.

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