Functional results after anterior lumbar fusion at l5-si in patients with normal and abnormal mri scans

K. Gill, S. L. Blumenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The debate continues as ta which patient responds best (o snrgifial Vfirsus nnn surgical intervention for pain Till degenerative disc syndrome. Discography Is often used as the basis for that decision. In a review of 53 cases followed for an average of 20 months after surgery, only 50% of patients with type I (contained) discography and normal magnetic rasonance imaging findings wore found to be improved. In those patients with types II and III [noncontained) discography and abnormal magnetic resonance imaging scans, a 75% success rato was seen. There was an overall 00% fusion rate for all patients who underwent anterior lumbar fugiun at L5-St. Average ags was 34 years, with average length of disability from low-back pain of 11 months. All patients were placed in a similar preaurgery and postsurgery rehabilitation protocol and had failed nonswrgical treatment eptionsL In this matdiad group of patients, those with abnormal magnetic resonance Imaging scans and abnormal discography, clearly fated better, with a 75% percent success rata versus 50% success rate in those with normal magnetic resonance imaging findings. This series raises the quastlon as to whether those patients with normal magnetic resonance imaging findings are surgical candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-942
Number of pages3
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1992


  • Anterior lumbar fusion
  • Discography
  • Internal disc disruption
  • Low-back pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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