Tests don't predict outcome after spine fusion for back pain

Tests don't predict outcome after spine fusion for back pain
Currently, there is no test available to reliably predict which patients with chronic low back pain will achieve a good clinical outcome after spinal fusion surgery, according to the results of a literature review published online Nov. 5 in The Spine Journal.

(HealthDay)—Currently, there is no test available to reliably predict which patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) will achieve a good clinical outcome after spinal fusion surgery, according to the results of a literature review published online Nov. 5 in The Spine Journal.

Paul C. Willems, M.D., Ph.D., of the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature and identified 10 studies to examine the prognostic accuracy of tests to predict which patients with chronic LBP will benefit from .

The researchers found that none of the tests (immobilization by orthosis, provocative discography, and temporary external fixation) demonstrated clinically useful prognostic accuracy. No studies on the utility of or facet joint blocks met the inclusion criteria. Conclusions were hampered by obscure patient selection, high risk of verification bias, and use of poorly validated instruments for outcome assessment.

"No subset of patients with chronic LBP could be identified for whom spinal fusion is a predictable and effective treatment," the authors write. "Best evidence does not support the use of current tests for patient selection in clinical practice."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Catastrophizing doesn't predict low back pain evolution

Aug 16, 2012

(HealthDay) -- For adult patients with acute or chronic low back pain (LBP), assessing the baseline score for catastrophizing does not help clinicians in routine clinical practice predict the evolution of ...

No increased risk of stroke after spinal fusion surgery

Aug 09, 2012

(HealthDay) -- In the three years following spinal fusion surgery, the incidence of stroke is similar to or insignificantly lower than that of controls, according to a study published in the June issue of ...

Self-management has small effect on low back pain

Jun 05, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Compared to minimal interventions, self-management has a small effect on pain and disability in non-specific low back pain (LBP), according to a review published online May 23 in Arthritis Ca ...

Patients with acute low back pain have poor prognosis

Apr 24, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Few patients with acute low back pain (LBP), with or without sciatica, declare sick leave; however, approximately half have one or more recurrences and a considerable proportion experience chronic ...

Recommended for you

Swatting chikungunya

6 hours ago

Summer days may be waning, but health officials are still on high alert for new cases of chikungunya, a painful mosquito-borne virus that spread to the United States from the tropics earlier this year. ...

User comments