LUMBAR SPINE FUSION: WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE?

Review written by Todd Hargrove info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Lumbar spine fusion is a relatively common procedure with high cost and risk of serious complications. This study sought to summarize systematic reviews on the effectiveness of lumbar spine fusion compared to conservative care in the treatment of various conditions, including low back pain, degenerative conditions, spondylolisthesis, trauma and tumor.

METHODS

The researchers identified 60 reviews that met the inclusion criteria. They then analyzed the studies for methodological quality, risk of bias, and evidence related to the question of whether spinal fusion provided benefit compared to non-operative alternatives for various conditions.

RESULTS

The risk of bias in the studies was generally high, and no high-quality systematic reviews were found. The available evidence showed:

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