To Fuse or Not To Fuse — This Time, It’s Not More of the Same

The main findings of this meta-analysis — fusion helps when there's a slip — seem like a no-brainer. Is that so?

What’s the Claim?

A meta-analysis found that among patients undergoing surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, laminectomy with fusion (when compared with laminectomy alone) was more likely to result in complications but delivered better improvement in pain and disability. The larger operation, unsurprisingly, also had longer length of stay and surgical time.

How’s It Stack Up?