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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2014 Apr;22(4):203-13. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-22-04-203.

Surgical management of lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis.


Lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) is a common cause of low back pain, radiculopathy, and/or neurogenic claudication. Treatment begins with a trial of nonsurgical methods, including physical therapy, NSAIDs, and epidural corticosteroid injections. Surgical treatment with decompression and fusion is recommended for patients who do not respond to this initial regimen. Although much has been published in the past two decades on the surgical management of DS, the optimal method remains controversial. Interbody fusion may improve arthrodesis rates and can be performed via numerous surgical approaches. Minimally invasive techniques continue to be developed. Particular attention to surgical management of DS in the elderly is warranted given the increasing numbers of elderly persons. Healthcare utilization in the future must take into account evidence-based medicine that establishes clinically effective practices while simultaneously being cost effective.

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