In a prospective observational study we compared the two-year outcome of lumbar fusion by a simple technique using translaminar screws (n = 57) with a more extensive method using transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and pedicular screw fixation (n = 63) in consecutive patients with degenerative disease of the lumbar spine. Outcome was assessed using the validated multidimensional Core Outcome Measures Index. Blood loss and operating time were significantly lower in the translaminar screw group (p < 0.01). The complication rates were similar in each group (2% to 4%). In all, 91% of the patients returned their questionnaire at two-years. The groups did not differ in Core Outcome Measures Index score reduction, 3.6 (SD 2.5) (translaminar screws) vs 4.0 (SD 2.8) (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) (p = 0.39); 'good' global outcomes, 78% (translaminar screws) vs 78% (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) (p = 0.99) or satisfaction with treatment, 82% (translaminar screws) vs 86% (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) (p = 0.52). The two fusion techniques differed markedly in their extent and the cost of the implants, but were associated with almost identical patient-orientated outcomes. Extensive three-point stabilisation is not always required to achieve satisfactory patientorientated results at two years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine