Article

Interspinous Spacer versus Traditional Decompressive Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 05/2014; 9(5):e97142. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097142
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dynamic interspinous spacers, such as X-stop, Coflex, DIAM, and Aperius, are widely used for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. However, controversy remains as to whether dynamic interspinous spacer use is superior to traditional decompressive surgery.
Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register were searched during August 2013. A track search was performed on February 27, 2014. Study was included in this review if it was: (1) a randomized controlled trial (RCT) or non-randomized prospective comparison study, (2) comparing the clinical outcomes for interspinous spacer use versus traditional decompressive surgery, (3) in a minimum of 30 patients, (4) with a follow-up duration of at least 12 months.
Two RCTs and three non-randomized prospective studies were included, with 204 patients in the interspinous spacer (IS) group and 217 patients in the traditional decompressive surgery (TDS) group. Pooled analysis showed no significant difference between the IS and TDS groups for low back pain (WMD: 1.2; 95% CI: -10.12, 12.53; P = 0.03; I2 = 66%), leg pain (WMD: 7.12; 95% CI: -3.88, 18.12; P = 0.02; I2 = 70%), ODI (WMD: 6.88; 95% CI: -14.92, 28.68; P = 0.03; I2 = 79%), RDQ (WMD: -1.30, 95% CI: -3.07, 0.47; P = 0.00; I2 = 0%), or complications (RR: 1.39; 95% CI: 0.61, 3.14; P = 0.23; I2 = 28%). The TDS group had a significantly lower incidence of reoperation (RR: 3.34; 95% CI: 1.77, 6.31; P = 0.60; I2 = 0%).
Although patients may obtain some benefits from interspinous spacers implanted through a minimally invasive technique, interspinous spacer use is associated with a higher incidence of reoperation and higher cost. The indications, risks, and benefits of using an interspinous process device should be carefully considered before surgery.

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    ABSTRACT: In the treatment of patients with Grade 1 spondylolisthesis, the use of interspinous devices has been controversial for nearly a decade. Several authors have suggested that Grade 1 spondylolisthesis be considered a contraindication for interspinous device placement. We removed interspinous devices in six symptomatic Grade 1 spondylolisthesis patients and analyzed pertinent literature. All six patients reported an improvement in symptoms following device removal and subsequent instrumented fusion. One patient who had not been able to walk due to pain regained the ability to walk. Several articles were identified related to spondylolisthesis and interspinous devices. Regarding patients receiving interspinous devices for symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis, several high-quality studies have failed to demonstrate a statistical difference in outcomes between patients with or without Grade 1 spondylolisthesis. Nevertheless, surgeons should have a high degree of suspicion when considering use of interspinous devices in this patient population.
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