Orthosis as prognostic instrument in lumbar fusion: no predictive value in 50 cases followed prospectively

J Spinal Disord. 1995 Aug;8(4):284-8. doi: 10.1097/00002517-199508040-00004.


To evaluate pain relief in a lumbar orthosis as a predictor for good clinical results after solid fusion, all patients scheduled for such a surgical procedure were preoperatively encouraged to use an orthosis, soft or rigid, for 3 weeks. Grade of back pain relief as a percent using the orthosis was assessed by the patients and was registered before surgery. After surgery, at 1-year follow-up, patients with nonunion demonstrated radiographically were excluded from the series. Thus, 50 patients with solid fusion could be identified and followed for at least 2 years prospectively. At follow-up these 50 patients graded the pain relief induced by the fusion. In the preoperative corset test, 31 patients experienced significant back pain relief, meaning a reduction of at least 50%. No applicable correlation was found, however, between outcome in this corset test and the eventual clinical result expressed as improvement/no improvement after solid fusion. The two types of orthoses did not differ in this aspect. We conclude that the orthosis, rigid or soft, is not a useful instrument when selecting patients for lumbar fusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spinal Fusion*