A review: Reduced reoperation rate for multilevel lumbar laminectomies with noninstrumented versus instrumented fusions.

A review: Reduced reoperation rate for multilevel lumbar laminectomies with noninstrumented versus instrumented fusions.
Surg Neurol Int. 2016 May 17;7(Suppl 13):S337-46. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.182546. eCollection 2016.



The reoperation rate, including for adjacent segment disease (ASD), is lower following multilevel lumbar laminectomy with noninstrumented versus instrumented fusions.


This study reviews selected literature focusing on the reoperation rate, including for ASD, following multilevel laminectomies with noninstrumented versus instrumented fusions. Several prior studies document a 1.3-5.6% reoperation rate following multilevel laminectomy with/without noninstrumented fusions.


The reoperation rates for instrumented fusions, including for ASD, are substantially higher. One study cited a 12.2-18.5% frequency for reoperation following instrumented transforaminal lumbar and posterior lumbar interbody fusions (TLIF and PLIFs) at an average of 164 postoperative months. Another study cited a 9.9% reoperation rate for ASD 1 year following PLIF; this increased to 80% at 5 postoperative years. A further study compared 380 patients variously undergoing laminectomies/noninstrumented posterolateral fusions, laminectomies with instrumented fusions (PLFs), and laminectomies with instrumented PLF plus an interbody fusions; this study documented no significant differences in outcomes for any of these operations at 4 postoperative years. Furthermore, other series showed fusion rates for 1-2 level procedures which were often similar with or without instrumentation, while instrumentation increased reoperation rates and morbidity.


Many studies document no benefit for adding instrumentation to laminectomies performed for degenerative disease, including spondylolisthesis. Reoperation rates for laminectomy alone/laminectomy with noninstrumented fusions vary from 1.3% to 5.6% whereas reoperation rates for ASD after instrumented PLIF was 80% at 5 postoperative years. This review should prompt spinal surgeons to reexamine when, why, and whether instrumentation is really necessary, particularly for treating degenerative lumbar disease.


Adjacent segment disease; instrumented fusion; low reoperation rate; lumbar surgery; multilevel laminectomy; noninstrumented fusion; spondylolisthesis



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