The aim of the present study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the dynamic stabilization system in the treatment of degenerative spinal diseases.
The study population included 20 consecutive patients (13 females, 7 males) with a mean age of 61±6.98 years (range 46-70) who underwent decompression and dynamic stabilization with the Dynesys system between January 2005 and August 2006. The diagnoses included spinal stenosis with degenerative spondylolisthesis (9/20, 45%), degenerative spinal stenosis (5/20, 25%), adjacent segmental disease after fusion (3/20, 15%), spinal stenosis with degenerative scoliosis (2/20, 10%) and recurrent intervertebral lumbar disc herniation (1/20, 5%). All of the patients completed the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Korean version of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). The following radiologic parameters were measured in all patients : global lordotic angles and segmental lordotic angles (stabilized segments, above and below adjacent segments). The range of motion (ROM) was then calculated.
The mean follow-up period was 27.25±5.16 months (range 16-35 months), and 19 patients (95%) were available for follow-up. One patient had to have the implant removed. There were 30 stabilized segments in 19 patients. Monosegmental stabilization was performed in 9 patients (47.3%), 9 patients (47.3%) underwent two segmental stabilizations and one patient (5.3%) underwent three segmental stabilizations. The most frequently treated segment was L4-5 (15/30, 50%), followed by L3-4 (12/30, 40%) and L5-S1 (3/30, 10%). The VAS decreased from 8.55±1.21 to 2.20±1.70 (p<0.001), and the patients' mean score on the Korean version of the ODI improved from 79.58%±15.93% to 22.17%±17.24% (p<0.001). No statistically significant changes were seen on the ROM at the stabilized segments (p=0.502) and adjacent segments (above segments, p=0.453, below segments, p=0.062). There were no patients with implant failure.
The results of this study show that the Dynesys system could preserve the motion of stabilized segments and provide clinical improvement in patients with degenerative spinal stenosis with instability. Thus, dynamic stabilization systems with adequate decompression may be an alternative surgical option to conventional fusion in selected patients.