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Active Patients Get Better Outcome From Fusion

Last Updated: June 05, 2009.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis patients who undergo fusion have a better outcome if they are working prior to surgery, and male gender and regular exercise also contribute to a more favorable outcome, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of Spine.

FRIDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Isthmic spondylolisthesis patients who undergo fusion have a better outcome if they are working prior to surgery, and male gender and regular exercise also contribute to a more favorable outcome, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of Spine.

Per Ekman, M.D., of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues conducted a study of 164 patients with isthmic spondylolisthesis who underwent fusion surgery, of which 160 were followed up after two years.

The outcome of the surgery was characterized as 'much better', 'better', 'unchanged' or 'worse', accounting for 49 percent, 25 percent, 14 percent and 12 percent of the patients, respectively, the investigators found. Patients with the worst outcomes were those who did not work, those who did no regular exercise, females and short patients, with working status having the most impact on outcome.

"The global outcome, functional outcome, as well as the level of pain, improvement in level of pain, and improvement in functional outcome were significantly better two years after fusion for patients working at the time of surgical intervention," the authors write. "Female patients not working, not exercising or, if these factors are not known, with non-organic pain drawings, should be informed about their suboptimal chances of an excellent outcome after fusion."

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