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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1989 Mar;14(3):345-8.

Symptomatic spondylolisthesis in adults: four decades later.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois.


An average follow-up of 40 years was obtained for 12 patients with spondylolisthesis treated at Hines Veterans Administration Hospital between 1944 and 1951. In each case, the slip had been Grade 1 and at the L5-S1 level. Five had been treated conservatively and seven surgically with a Hibbs fusion from L4 to S1. Of the conservatively managed patients, all functioned well during their working years, although one did have chronic, nondisabling, low-back pain. This same patient demonstrated radiographic evidence of progression to a Grade 2 spondylolisthesis. Among those undergoing surgery, the poor results were confined to those patients whose fusion attempts failed. Management for low-grade spondylolisthesis should be conservative where possible. When the low-back pain is disabling and surgery becomes necessary, failure to obtain a fusion portends a poor clinical result.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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