Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lumbar fusion has long-term benefits

15.12.2008
Lumbar fusion is becoming an increasingly common treatment for low-back pain, but its long-term effects are relatively unknown. A doctoral thesis from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet now shows that the long-term effects are superior to those of physiotherapy.

Chronic low-back pain is treated increasingly often with lumbar fusion, by which several lower back vertebrae are fused in a way that has little impact on the back’s overall mobility. Lumbar fusion has been shown to relieve pain in the short term, but no studies have examined the long-term effects of the operation and compared them with alternative, non-surgical treatments like physiotherapy.

Per Ekman is a surgeon at Stockholm South General Hospital (Södersjukhuset), and has shown in his doctoral thesis that patients who have undergone lumbar fusion also improve in the longer term. His results are based on an evaluation of 111 patients, randomly assigned treatment with lumbar fusion or physiotherapy. On a follow-up nine years later, 76 per cent of the surgical group stated that they felt better than before the operation, compared with only 50 per cent of the physiotherapy group.

“Whether lumbar fusion should be used at all for this type of back pain has long been the subject of much debate,” says Dr Ekman. “My studies suggest that most patients who have undergone lumbar fusion actually feel better, and that the operation carries no great risk. However, long-term improvements are often relatively modest, and the operation should also continue to be used as a complement to physiotherapy when this treatment doesn’t help.”

His thesis shows that men, the physically active and the gainfully employed have somewhat higher chances of benefitting from the operation than others.

“This tells us something, but unfortunately there are still no good methods for finding those with the best chances of responding well to the operation,” says Dr Ekman.

Thesis: Lumbar fusion for chronic low-back pain in isthmic spondylolisthesis, Per Ekman, Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet.

Katarina Sternudd | alfa
Further information:
http://ki.se
http://diss.kib.ki.se/2008/978-91-7409-259-2/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>