What is the evidence base for the use of orthopaedic spinal surgery for mechanical low back pain or degenerative spondylolisthesis?

Abbotts J, Macpherson K
Record ID 32013000459
Authors' recommendations: In mechanical low back pain which has persisted despite optimal conservative management, there is evidence that spinal fusion can be of benefit. In chronic low back pain, spinal fusion is unlikely to be cost effective versus intensive rehabilitation over a 2-year time horizon; however there is some indication that it could become cost effective over a longer term time horizon In degenerative spondylolisthesis, there is evidence that spinal fusion as an adjunct to decompression leads to better clinical outcomes than decompression alone. Evidence for clinical effectiveness of disc replacement and interspinous distraction devices was minimal. It was neither specific to degenerative spondylolisthesis, nor necessarily generalisable to mechanical low back pain. No cost-effectiveness evidence was identified on spinal fusion, disc replacement or interspinous distraction devices in the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2011
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Scotland, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal Fusion
Organisation Name: Scottish Health Technologies Group
Contact Address: Scottish Health Technologies Group, Delta House, 50 West Nile Street, Glasgow, G1 2NP Tel: 0141 225 6998
Contact Name: his.shtg@nhs.scot
Contact Email: his.shtg@nhs.scot
Copyright: Healthcare Improvement Scotland
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