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, 10 (1), 78-83

Direct Repair of Defect in Lumbar Spondylolysis and Mild Isthmic Spondylolisthesis by Bone Grafting, With or Without Facet Joint Fusion

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Direct Repair of Defect in Lumbar Spondylolysis and Mild Isthmic Spondylolisthesis by Bone Grafting, With or Without Facet Joint Fusion

L Y Dai et al. Eur Spine J.

Abstract

Forty-six patients with lumbar spondylolysis and mild isthmic spondylolisthesis were managed with direct repair of the defect with or without facet joint fusion in the affected segment. There were 24 males and 22 females, ranging in age from 15 to 56 years (average, 38.2 years). These patients had experienced clinical symptoms due to spondylolysis for between 4 months and 20 years (average, 5.3 years). Of 46 patients, 28 had no spondylolisthesis, 11 had Meyerding grade I vertebral slippage and 7 had grade II. Direct repair of 98 defects was performed on these patients. Twenty-six patients, in whom the disc adjacent to the defect was determined as degenerative by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), simultaneously underwent facet joint fusion; 17 in one segment and 9 in two segments. The average period of follow-up was 50 months (24-92 months). Ninety-four defects achieved bony healing. As a result, 28 patients were graded as having an excellent outcome, 15 good, and 3 fair. Bone grafting in the defects achieves union between the loose lamina and the anterior element of lumbar vertebrae, and reconstructs the anatomic structure and physiologic functions of the lumbar vertebrae. There was no significant difference in outcome between the spondylolytic/spondylolisthetic patients with non-degenerative disc, who were treated with direct repair of defect only, and those with degenerative disc, who additionally underwent a fusion procedure (P > 0.05). The present series demonstrates a satisfactory result and a high rate of bony healing of the pars defect by this operative procedure in patients with lumbar spondylolysis and mild isthmic spondylolisthesis. Preoperative assessment of the disc degeneration with MRI is of great assistance in making the protocol choice of whether to opt for fusion.

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