Tests Don't Predict Outcome After Spine Fusion for Back Pain

Current tests don't have prognostic accuracy for selection of patients with chronic low back pain

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Currently, there is no test available to reliably predict which patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) will achieve a good clinical outcome after spinal fusion surgery, according to the results of a literature review published online Nov. 5 in The Spine Journal.

Paul C. Willems, M.D., Ph.D., of the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature and identified 10 studies to examine the prognostic accuracy of tests to predict which patients with chronic LBP will benefit from spinal fusion surgery.

The researchers found that none of the tests (immobilization by orthosis, provocative discography, and temporary external fixation) demonstrated clinically useful prognostic accuracy. No studies on the utility of magnetic resonance imaging or facet joint blocks met the inclusion criteria. Conclusions were hampered by obscure patient selection, high risk of verification bias, and use of poorly validated instruments for outcome assessment.

"No subset of patients with chronic LBP could be identified for whom spinal fusion is a predictable and effective treatment," the authors write. "Best evidence does not support the use of current tests for patient selection in clinical practice."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events