Clinical outcomes and radiological instability following decompressive lumbar laminectomy for degenerative spinal stenosis: A comparison of patients undergoing concomitant arthrodesis versus decompression alone

Mark W. Fox, Burton M. Onofrio, Arlen D. Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

127 Scopus citations

Abstract

One hundred twenty-four patients with degenerative lumbar stenosis underwent decompression with fusion (32 patients) and without fusion (92 patients) during a 30-month period between 1986 and 1988. Patient-reported satisfaction at a mean follow-up period of 5.8 years (range 4.6-6.8 years) revealed a 79% good or fair outcome and a 21% poor outcome (26 patients). Seven patients (6%) developed lumbar instability, three patients (2%) developed new stenosis at an adjacent unoperated level, and three patients (2%) developed a new disc herniation between 2 and 5 years after surgery. Progressive postoperative spondylolisthesis occurred in 31% of patients with normal preoperative alignment (mean 7.8 mm, range 2-20 mm) and in 73% of patients with preoperative subluxation (mean 5.1 mm, range 2-13 mm) in whom fusion was not attained. Radiological progression did not correlate well with patient-reported outcome. The major conclusions from this study are the following: 1) the majority of patients respond well to this surgery, but complication (22%) and late deterioration (10%) rates are not insignificant; 2) radiological instability is common after decompression for degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis, but this correlates with clinical outcome; 3) there are no definitive clinical or radiological factors that preoperatively predict patients at risk for a poor outcome; 4) postoperative radiological instability is more likely to occur when the following criteria are present: preoperative spondylolisthesis, abnormal motion detected on preoperative dynamic imaging, decompression occurring across a minimally degenerated L-4 or a markedly degenerated L-3 disc; and when a radical and extensive decompression greater than one level is planned; and 5) the group at greatest risk for a poor outcome consists of those patients with normal preoperative alignment who do not suffer slippage following surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-802
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Volume85
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • laminectomy
  • lumbar spinal stenosis
  • outcome
  • spinal fusion
  • spinal instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical outcomes and radiological instability following decompressive lumbar laminectomy for degenerative spinal stenosis: A comparison of patients undergoing concomitant arthrodesis versus decompression alone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this