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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1995;134(1-2):1-4.

Soft system stabilization of the lumbar spine as an alternative surgical modality to lumbar arthrodesis in the facet syndrome. Preliminary results.

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Department of Rheumatology and Physical Medicine, Hôspital Régional de Porrentruy, Switzerland.


The authors present preliminary results in a series of 27 patients with a lumbar and/or lumbosacral facet syndrome operated on by use of the soft-system-Stabilization (SSS) according to Graf. Attention is paid to the correct selection of patients for this surgical technique. Excellent, good, satisfactory, moderate, and poor results were obtained in 19 (70%), 2 (7.5%), 5 (18.5%), 1 (3.5%), and 0 instances, respectively. The authors think that a Graf-procedure may be indicated in young to middle-aged patients with a lumbar and/or lumbosacral facet syndrome with 1.) no arthrotic changes of the facet joints, 2.) a still intact disc and/or only mild loss of intervertebral distance, 3.) well trained low-back muscles, and 4.) a clear-cut pain relief on test-anaesthesia of articular nerves and trial immobilization in a plastic jacket.

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