Daniela Linhares, Pedro Cacho Rodrigues, Manuel Ribeiro da Silva, Rui Matos, Vitorino Veludo, Rui Pinto, Nuno Neves

July 2019, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 1743 - 1749 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-018-5833-4

First Online: 26 November 2018

Minimum of 10-year follow-up of V-rod technique in lumbar spondylolysis


To describe and analyze the use of the V-rod technique described by Gillet to repair spondylolysis in both early and late postoperative periods.


Patients submitted to surgical correction of lumbar spondylolysis with a V-rod system were selected upon exclusion of adjacent disk degenerative changes and high-grade spondylolisthesis. A preoperative clinical (ODI and VAS) and radiological evaluation was performed, along with assessments on the early (clinical evaluation—up to 1 year) and late (clinical and radiological—at least 10 years) postoperative periods.


Twenty-two patients were included, 21 with L5 spondylolysis. Fifty percent had grade I spondylolisthesis. A significant decrease in ODI and VAS was observed from pre- to early and late post-op evaluation (all p < 0.05) but not during post-op evaluations. Changes from pre- to postoperative of both ODI and VAS were significantly higher than the minimal clinically important difference. Preoperative ODI and VAS were significantly higher in overweight/obese but similar postoperatively. No additional instability was found in late postoperative X-rays. Three patients needed revision surgery, with a survival rate of 81.8% for Gillet instrumentation at a mean follow-up of 687.7 ± 60.0 weeks.


Surgical treatment with V-rod system is associated with a significant improvement in ODI and VAS and radiologic stability, with an equal benefit in obese/overweight patients. This study reports for the first time an improvement that is maintained even 10 years after the initial intervention, associated with a low rate of failure.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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