Decompression with or without concomitant fusion in lumbar stenosis due to degenerative spondylolisthesis: a systematic review

Decompression with or without concomitant fusion in lumbar stenosis due to degenerative spondylolisthesis: a systematic review

M. L. Dijkerman, G. M. Overdevest, W. A. Moojen, C. L. A. Vleggeert-Lankamp

June 2018, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 1629 - 1643
DOI
10.1007/s00586-017-5436-5
First Online: 05 February 2018
Abstract

Purpose

The primary objective of this systematic review is to compare the outcome after decompression with and without concomitant instrumented fusion in patients with lumbar stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. Does adding fusion to simple decompression lead to better results?

Methods

PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL, Cochrane, Web of Science, CINAHL and Academic Search Premier were searched. All studies comparing outcome of decompression alone to decompression with concomitant-instrumented fusion in patients suffering from symptomatic lumbar stenosis with degenerative spondylolisthesis were included. Risk of bias was assessed using an adapted version of the Cowley checklist.

Results

Eleven studies were included in the analysis involving 3119 patients in total. In the majority of studies, including two RCTs, clinical outcome of both patient groups was comparable regarding most clinical outcome measures.

Conclusion

Currently there is not enough evidence that adding instrumented fusion to a decompression leads to superior outcomes compared to decompression only in patients with lumbar stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis. The most important clinical outcome measures, including the ODI, show comparable results. Therefore, the least invasive and least costly procedure, being decompression alone, is preferred in patients with low-grade spondylolisthesis with predominant leg pain.

Graphical abstract

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