Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of bmcmudisBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012; 13: 123.
Published online Jul 20, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2474-13-123
PMCID: PMC3436790
Randomized controlled trial of postoperative exercise rehabilitation program after lumbar spine fusion: study protocol
Sami Tarnanen,corresponding author1 Marko H Neva,2 Joost Dekker,3 Keijo Häkkinen,4 Kimmo Vihtonen,2 Liisa Pekkanen,5 and Arja Häkkinen1,6
1Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
2Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4Department of Biology of Physical activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
5Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Central Finland Central Hospital, Jyväskylä, Finland
6Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Central Finland Central Hospital, Jyväskylä, Finland
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Sami Tarnanen: sami.tarnanen/at/; Marko H Neva: marko.neva/at/; Joost Dekker: J.Dekker/at/; Keijo Häkkinen: keijo.hakkinen/at/; Kimmo Vihtonen: kimmo.vihtonen/at/; Liisa Pekkanen: liisa.pekkanen/at/; Arja Häkkinen: arja.hakkinen/at/
Received May 30, 2012; Accepted June 29, 2012.
Lumbar spine fusion (LSF) effectively decreases pain and disability in specific spinal disorders; however, the disability rate following surgery remains high. This, combined with the fact that in Western countries the number of LSF surgeries is increasing rapidly it is important to develop rehabilitation interventions that improve outcomes.
In the present RCT-study we aim to assess the effectiveness of a combined back-specific and aerobic exercise intervention for patients after LSF surgery. One hundred patients will be randomly allocated to a 12-month exercise intervention arm or a usual care arm. The exercise intervention will start three months after surgery and consist of six individual guidance sessions with a physiotherapist and a home-based exercise program. The primary outcome measures are low back pain, lower extremity pain, disability and quality of life. Secondary outcomes are back function and kinesiophobia. Exercise adherence will also be evaluated. The outcome measurements will be assessed at baseline (3 months postoperatively), at the end of the exercise intervention period (15 months postoperatively), and after a 1-year follow-up.
The present RCT will evaluate the effectiveness of a long-term rehabilitation program after LSF. To our knowledge this will be the first study to evaluate a combination of strength training, control of the neutral lumbar spine position and aerobic training principles in rehabilitation after LSF.
Trial registration Identifier NCT00834015
Keywords: Lumbar fusion, Disability, Pain, Quality of life, Spine, Exercise, Rehabilitation
Articles from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders are provided here courtesy of
BioMed Central