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Lumbar Brace of No Benefit After Spine Arthrodesis

No significant advantage or disadvantage of lumbar corset use following lumbar arthrodesis

THURSDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- No substantial improvements in self-reported functional outcomes were noted following eight weeks of continuous postoperative external lumbar corset support, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

A.J. Yee, M.D., of the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues performed a prospective randomized trial comparing the effect of wearing a postoperative corset continuously for eight weeks following lumbar arthrodesis with no intervention. Ninety patients were randomized with functional outcome assessment (the Dallas Pain Questionnaire [DPQ] and the Short Form-36 [SF-36]), evaluated preoperatively, one year and two years post surgery.

Follow-up was complete for 80 percent of patients (37 in the corset group; 35 in the control group), the report indicates. All patients had significant improvement in both disease-specific and general health measures two years postoperatively. At two years of follow-up, no significant differences in the DPQ or SF-36 scores based on treatment group were noted. Postoperative complications and subsequent spinal operations due to radiographic evidence of non-union were similar in the two groups, the researchers report.

"At two years postoperatively, there did not appear to be a significant advantage or disadvantage to the use of a lumbar corset as demonstrated by patient-reported generic and disease-specific functional measures, radiographic outcomes, and complications following the surgery," the authors conclude. "As one can define success on the basis of a variety of end point goals, ongoing study is required to determine if certain patient subgroups may benefit from brace treatment."

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