Results of lumbosacral fusion for degenerative disc disease with and without instrumentation. Two- to five-year follow-up.
Functional and surgical outcomes are reported in two consecutive groups of patients who underwent one- and two-level lumbosacral fusion. The first group underwent standard posterolateral lumbosacral fusion, and the second group underwent lumbosacral fusion with compression U-rod instrumentation. Fusions were carried out over all painful, abnormal levels documented by discography. the pseudarthrosis rate without instrumentation was 35%, in contrast to 6% with instrumentation. In both groups of patients with chronic low-back pain secondary to degenerative disc disease, solid lumbosacral fusion was associated with decreased pain and higher return to work rates. Poorest results were associated with prolonged periods of preoperative disability and long-term disability claims.
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