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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2021 Jun 10

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.21.05315-7


lingua: Inglese

Adjacent segment degeneration after posterolateral lumbar fusion: results and complications of posterior revision surgery

Fernando L. DANTAS 1, 2 , François DANTAS 1, 3, Antônio C. CAIRES 1, Gustavo A. CARIRI 1, Gilberto A. FONSECA FILHO 1, Ricardo V. BOTELHO 2

1 Department of Neurosurgery - Biocor Instituto, Nova Lima, Minas Gerais, Brazil; 2 Post-Graduation in Health Sciences - IAMSPE, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3 Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Minas Gerais - Feluma Post-Graduation, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil


BACKGROUND: Lumbar fusion is an important technique for the treatment of degenerative pathologies. Adjacent segment degeneration is a known complication after lumbar fusion that causes significant morbidity. Our objective was to evaluate the demographics, risk factors, type of surgery, and surgical complications in patients who underwent reoperation through a posterior route due to adjacent segment degeneration.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients who underwent instrumented posterolateral fusion in the lumbar spine for the treatment of degenerative diseases from January 2000 to December 2015 at a single institution. Patients who developed symptomatic adjacent segment degeneration requiring a second surgery were noted and compared with patients who did not develop adjacent segment degeneration.
RESULTS: A total of 750 patients with degenerative pathologies who underwent fusion with instrumentation were identified. Forty-five patients (6%) required a second surgery for symptomatic adjacent segment degeneration. The average onset of adjacent segment degeneration symptoms after fusion was 5.89 years. Adjacent segment degeneration occurred above the level of fusion in 40 cases and below in 5 cases. The risk factor identified in our series was L5-S1 fusion. The main complication seen after the second surgery was infection in 5 cases (11%).
CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies the L5-S1 fusion as a possible risk factor for adjacent segment degeneration. Reoperation through a posterior route is a therapeutic option but is associated with considerable morbidity. Further studies are necessary to elucidate this pathology and the best options for its management.

KEY WORDS: Lumbar vertebrae; Postoperative complications; Reoperation; Risk factors; Intervertebral disc degeneration

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