A. M. Lehr, D. Delawi, J. L. C. van Susante, N. Verschoor, N. Wolterbeek, F. C. Oner, M. C. Kruyt

May 2021, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1380 - 1386 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06671-6

First Online: 03 December 2020

Long-term (> 10 years) clinical outcomes of instrumented posterolateral fusion for spondylolisthesis


Despite the rapid increase in instrumented spinal fusions for a variety of indications, most studies focus on short-term fusion rates. Long-term clinical outcomes are still scarce and inconclusive. This study investigated clinical outcomes > 10 years after single-level instrumented posterolateral spinal fusion for lumbar degenerative or isthmic spondylolisthesis with neurological symptoms.


Cross-sectional long-term follow-up among the Dutch participants of an international multicenter randomized controlled trial comparing osteogenic protein-1 with autograft. Clinical outcomes were assessed using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), EQ-5D-3L and visual analogue scale (VAS) for leg and back pain, as well as questions on satisfaction with treatment and additional surgery.


The follow-up rate was 73% (41 patients). At mean 11.8 (range 10.1–13.7) years after surgery, a non-significant deterioration of clinical outcomes compared to 1-year follow-up was observed. The mean ODI was 20 ± 19, mean EQ-5D-3L index score 0.784 ± 0.251 and mean VAS for leg and back pain, respectively, 34 ± 33 and 31 ± 28. Multiple regression showed that diagnosis (degenerative vs. isthmic spondylolisthesis), graft type (OP-1 vs. autograft) and 1-year fusion status (fusion vs. no fusion) were not predictive for the ODI at long-term follow-up (p = 0.389). Satisfaction with treatment was excellent and over 70% of the patients reported lasting improvement in back and/or leg pain. No revision surgeries for non-union were reported.


This study showed favourable clinical outcomes > 10 years after instrumented posterolateral spinal fusion and supports spondylolisthesis with neurological symptoms as indication for fusion surgery.

Read Full Article