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Influence of microsurgical decompression on segmental stability of the lumbar spine – One-year results in a prospective, consecutive case series using upright, kinetic-positional MRI

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2022 Aug 3;23(1):742. doi: 10.1186/s12891-022-05701-2.


BACKGROUND: Standard procedure in patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis is decompression to relieve the neural structures. Clinical results generally show superiority compared to nonoperative therapy after an observation period of several years. However, there is still a question of postsurgical segmental stability and correlation to clinical findings. Therefore, the aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the clinical outcome in patients who underwent microsurgical decompression in lumbar spine and particularly to analyze intervertebral movement by use of upright, kinetic-positional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) over a period of 12 months and then to correlate the clinical and imaging data with each other.

METHODS: Complete clinical data of 24 consecutive participants with microsurgical decompression of the lumbar spine were obtained by questionnaires including visual analogue scale (VAS) for back and leg, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), Short-Form-36 (SF-36), walking distance and use of analgesics with assessment preoperatively and after 6 weeks and 12 months. At the same points of time all patients underwent upright, kinetic-positional MRI to measure intersegmental motion of the operated levels with determination of intervertebral angles and translation and to correlate the clinical and imaging data with each other.

RESULTS: VAS for leg, ODI, RMDQ and physical component scale of SF-36 improved statistically significantly without statistically significant differences regarding intersegmental motion and horizontal displacement 6 weeks and 12 months after operation. Regression analysis did not find any linear dependencies between the clinical scores and imaging parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: In awareness of some limitations of the study, our results demonstrate no increase of intersegmental movement or even instability after microsurgical decompression of the lumbar spine over a follow-up period of 12 months, which is equivalent to preservation of intervertebral stability. Furthermore, the magnitude of intervertebral range of motion showed no correlation to the clinical score parameters at all three examination points of time.

PMID:35922785 | DOI:10.1186/s12891-022-05701-2

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