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Review Shows Spine Fusion To Be Effective Treatment For LBP Caused By Degenerative Disc Disease

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There is a large body of published material dealing with the outcomes of spinal fusion treatment for low back pain (LBP) resulting from degenerative disc disease. However, there is still lack of agreement as to how effective this type of surgery is. In an attempt to uncover new evidence that can shed light on the subject, a research team from Chicago-based Rush University Medical Centre has conducted a systematic literature review. According to their report, which was published in this month´s issue of the Spine journal, spinal fusion surgery is a viable treatment option for people with chronic LBP as a result of degenerative disc disease. The treatment helps reduce pain and improve function, as the analysis of data on 3,060 such patients has shown.

The team searched the MEDLINE and Cochrane databases for articles dealing with clinical outcomes, selecting reports on studies where patients had been followed for at least 12 months after undergoing spinal fusion surgery. Their final selection for the review comprised 26 publications on the subject. The study of the documents determined that an average of 71.1% of patients were satisfied with the procedure. The treatment was typically linked to reduction in back pain severity and disability, as well as improved physical function.

According to an Arthritis Research UK spokeswoman, spinal fusion provides one of several treatment options for people suffering from severe degenerative disc problems. Disc replacement, discectomy and decompression surgery are alternatives that can also deliver positive outcomes, she said.