Surgical versus non-surgical treatment of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: systematic review of randomized control trials.

  • Tarek Aly
  • Ahmed Aly
Keywords: spondylolisthesis, degenerative, surgical treatment, conservative treatment, systematic review.


Background: The best management for degenerative spondylolisthesis patients is still controversial. Low-grade spondylolisthesis without neurologic deficits used to be treated non-surgically as a first-line. Many studies stated that in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis with or without spinal stenosis, surgery had superior outcomes. The aim of this systematic review was to describe the effectiveness of surgery versus conservative treatment for lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed for relevant studies in Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, Scopus, Centre for Review and Dissemination databases and Cochrane databases were searched. The search included English studies, and all conservative and surgical interventions were included.
Results: Two studies met the inclusion criteria. The number of patients was 650 (355 treated with surgical intervention and 295 treated conservatively). Surgery was found to be more effective than conservative care in the two studies.
Conclusion: Patients with lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis treated with surgery had significantly better results in pain and function compared with patients treated with nonoperative treatment.
The study is retrospectively registered.
Level of evidence: II


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Author Biographies

Tarek Aly

Orthopaedic Dept., Tanta University, Egypt

Ahmed Aly

Orthopaedic Dept., Tanta University, Egypt


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