Direct repair of the pars interarticularis for spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis.
Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis can be associated with significant low back pain, especially in physically active adolescents. Non-operative management is usually successful in improving symptoms, but surgical intervention is occasionally required for those that fail reduction of activity and bracing. In a subpopulation of these patients, direct repair of the pars interarticularis defect can be an effective modality of treatment. The advantage of direct pars repair over intertransverse fusion with or without segmental instrumentation is the preservation of the anatomic integrity and motion of the affected segment. We describe our experience in 5 patients (aged 15-18 years) managed by direct pars interarticularis repair after failing multimodality non-operative treatment. The length of stay averaged 3.2 days (range 3-4 days). All 5 patients were able to return to full activity with either no (60%) or minor (40%) symptoms. No immediate or delayed complications were noted. Patients were followed a minimum of 30 months (range 30-78 months). All 5 patients demonstrated evidence of bony fusion by radiographic criteria. This demonstrates that direct pars repair is a safe and effective modality to treat select groups of patients with spondylolysis and low-grade spondylolisthesis.
Lundin, DA; Wiseman, D; Ellenbogen, RG; Shaffrey, CI
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