Clinical outcome after lumbar spinal fusion surgery in degenerative spondylolisthesis: a 3-year follow-up

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2022 May;142(5):721-727. doi: 10.1007/s00402-020-03697-9. Epub 2020 Dec 29.


Introduction: Lumbar spinal fusion surgery is a widely accepted surgical treatment in degenerative causes of lumbar spondylolisthesis. The benefit of reduction of anterior displacement and restoration of sagittal parameters is still controversially debated. Purpose of the underlying publication was to analyze the influence of radiographic sagittal parameters of the spine in aspects of changes in postoperative clinical outcome.

Materials and methods: By prospective analysis, we included patients with low-grade degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis (Meyerding grades I and II) with mono- or bisegmental fusion surgery with a minimum follow-up data of 3 years. For clinical outcome measures, COMI, ODI and EQ-5D were used. Spinopelvic parameters (sacral inclination, pelvic tilt, sacral slope and pelvic incidence, lumbar lordosis and lumbar index as well as anterior displacement and sagittal rotation) were measured on plain radiographs.

Results: We could observe a significant benefit in clinical outcome after lumbar fusion surgery in low-grade spondylolisthesis in our mid-term follow-up data including 32 patients. By surgical reduction, we could see significant restoration of anterior displacement and sagittal rotation. Interestingly, a significant correlation between restoration of both sagittal rotation and sacral inclination and clinical outcome score was observed in the 3-year follow-up.

Conclusion: In low-grade spondylolisthesis, spinal fusion surgery is a well-established surgical procedure; however, the impact of sagittal parameters and reduction of anterior displacement remains controversial. Within our findings, restoration of sagittal parameters showed significant correlation to improvement in clinical outcome in our mid-term follow-up data.

Keywords: Clinical outcome; Fusion surgery; Reduction; Sagittal balance; Spondylolisthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Fusion* / methods
  • Spondylolisthesis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylolisthesis* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome