A Narrative Review of Lumbar Fusion Surgery With Relevance to Chiropractic Practice
Structural and chiropractic
J Chiropr Med.2016 Dec;15(4):259-271.
C J Daniels, P J Wakefield, G A Bub, J D Toombs
Objective: The purpose of this narrative review was to describe the most common spinal fusion surgical procedures, address the clinical indications for lumbar fusion in degeneration cases, identify potential complications, and discuss their relevance to chiropractic management of patients after surgical fusion. Methods: The PubMed database was searched from the beginning of the record through March 31, 2015, for English language articles related to lumbar fusion or arthrodesis or both and their incidence, procedures, complications, and postoperative chiropractic cases. Articles were retrieved and evaluated for relevance. The bibliographies of selected articles were also reviewed. Results: The most typical lumbar fusion procedures are posterior lumbar interbody fusion, anterior lumbar interbody fusion, transforaminal interbody fusion, and lateral lumbar interbody fusion. Fair level evidence supports lumbar fusion procedures for degenerative spondylolisthesis with instability and for intractable low back pain that has failed conservative care. Complications and development of chronic pain after surgery is common, and these patients frequently present to chiropractic physicians. Several reports describe the potential benefit of chiropractic management with spinal manipulation, flexion-distraction manipulation, and manipulation under anesthesia for postfusion low back pain. There are no published experimental studies related specifically to chiropractic care of postfusion low back pain. Conclusions: This article describes the indications for fusion, common surgical practice, potential complications, and relevant published chiropractic literature. This review includes 10 cases that showed positive benefits from chiropractic manipulation, flexion-distraction, and/or manipulation under anesthesia for postfusion lumbar pain. Chiropractic care may have a role in helping patients in pain who have undergone lumbar fusion surgery.