Rehabilitation following lumbar fusion surgery : a systematic review and meta-analysis

Greenwood, James, Mcgregor, Alison, Jones, Fiona, Mullane, Jacqueline and Hurley, Michael (2016) Rehabilitation following lumbar fusion surgery : a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spine, 41(1), E28-E36. ISSN (print) 0362-2436


STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review with meta-analysis. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of current evidence evaluating the effectiveness of rehabilitation following lumbar fusion surgery (LFS). SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: LFS for the management of lower back pain, with(out) neurogenic leg pain, is increasing as the population ages. Clinical outcomes commonly lag behind surgical outcomes and 40% of patients experience significant back-related disability 12 months after LFS. Identifying rehabilitation strategies to improve function and quality of life following LFS is important. METHODS: A systematic review of databases were searched, including MEDLINE, CINAHL, and grey literature. Studies identified were screened for inclusion by title and abstract. Full text of eligible/potentially eligible studies was evaluated against predetermined eligibility criteria. Included studies were subjected to critical appraisal and risk of bias evaluation. The GRADE approach to quality of evidence was utilized. A meta-analysis comparing usual care with "complex rehabilitation," comprising exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy, for outcomes relating to pain, disability, fear of movement, and mental health was conducted at short and longer term (<3 and >12 months postsurgery) time points. RESULTS: Three studies were identified for the systematic review and 2 included in the meta-analysis (n = 237, female = 62%, mean age = 55). Low-quality evidence suggests that "complex rehabilitation" provides short-term improvement in disability [effect size, -0.85, 95% confidence interval (95% CI), -1.41 to -0.29] and fear avoidance behavior (-1.07, 95% CI -1.33, -0.80), compared with usual care. Low-quality evidence exists favoring "complex rehabilitation" over usual care for longer term disability (-0.84, 95% CI -1.11 to -0.58) and fear avoidance behavior (-1.40, 95% CI -1.69 to -1.12). CONCLUSIONS: A small number of low-quality studies suggest that "complex rehabilitation" reduces short and long-term disability and fear avoidance behavior following LFS. More, high-quality research is required to confirm the effectiveness of "complex rehabilitation" programs.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page