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Clinical Experiences of Non-fusion Dynamic Stabilization Surgery for Adjacent Segmental Pathology after Lumbar Fusion

Soo Eon Lee, MD,1 Tae-Ahn Jahng, MD, PhD,2,3 Hyun-Jib Kim, MD, PhD2

1Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea, 2Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul, Korea, 3Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea



As an alternative to spinal fusion, non-fusion dynamic stabilization surgery has been developed, showing good clinical outcomes. In the present study, we introduce our surgical series, which involves non-fusion dynamic stabilization surgery for adjacent segment pathology (ASP) after lumbar fusion surgery.


Fifteen patients (13 female and 2 male, mean age of 62.1 years) who underwent dynamic stabilization surgery for symptomatic ASP were included and medical records, magnetic resonance images (MRI), and plain radiographs were retrospectively evaluated.


Twelve of the 15 patients had the fusion segment at L4-5, and the most common segment affected by ASP was L3-4. The time interval between prior fusion and later non-fusion surgery was mean 67.0 months. The Visual Analog Scale and Oswestry Disability Index showed values of 7.4 and 58.5% before the non-fusion surgery and these values respectively declined to 4.2 and 41.3% postoperatively at 36 months (p=0.027 and p=0.018, respectively). During the mean 44.8 months of follow-up, medication of analgesics was also significantly reduced. The MRI grade for disc and central stenosis identified significant degeneration at L3-4, and similar disc degeneration from lateral radiographs was determined at L3-4 between before the prior fusion surgery and the later non-fusion surgery. After the non-fusion surgery, the L3-4 segment and the proximal segment of L2-3 were preserved in the disc, stenosis and facet joint whereas L1-2 showed disc degeneration on the last MRI (p=0.032). Five instances of radiologic ASP were identified, showing characteristic disc-space narrowing at the proximal segments of L1-2 and L2-3. However, no patient underwent additional surgery for ASP after non-fusion dynamic stabilization surgery.


The proposed non-fusion dynamic stabilization system could be an effective surgical treatment for elderly patients with symptomatic ASP after lumbar fusion. 

lumbar spine, Non-fusion, Dynamic stabilization system, Dynesys, NFlex, Adjacent segment pathology
Volume 10 Article 8