The pre- and postoperative lumbar spine radiographs of 119 patients who underwent decompressive lumbar laminectomy were studied to evaluate radiographic changes and to correlate them with clinical outcome. An accurate and reproducible method was used for measuring pre- and postoperative radiographs that were separated by an average interval of 4.6 years. Levels of the spine that underwent laminectomy showed greater change in spondylolisthesis, disc space angle, and disc space height than unoperated levels. Outcome correlated with radiographic changes at operated and unoperated levels. This study demonstrates that radiographic changes are greater at operated than at unoperated levels and that some postoperative symptoms do correlate with these changes. Lumbar fusion should be considered in some patients who undergo decompressive laminectomy. The efficacy of and unequivocal indications for lumbar fusion can only be determined from randomized, prospective, controlled trials, however, and these studies have not yet been undertaken.
- decompressive lumbar laminectomy
- lumbar spine
- spinal stenosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology