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Latest News and Research

  • Scientists have developed a new computer system that works in conjunction with CT scans that improves detection of tumors in the spinal canal more clearly than ever. This latest technology was developed by doctors at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Radiology and Imaging Sciences Department in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Despite the frequent occurrence of sponylolisthesis and lumbar instability in the United States, few physical examination findings have shown accuracy in detecting this condition. Two physical examination tests—the low midline sill sign and interspinous gap change tests—demonstrated sensitivity and specificity in the detection of lumbar spondylolisthesis and instability in a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.
  • Despite the widespread use of oral corticosteroids for acute radiculopathy resulting from a herniated lumbar disk, this treatment did not significantly improve pain levels compared with placebo in a randomized controlled trial published in the May 19 issue of JAMA. Oral steroids were linked to a modest improvement in function in this study.
  • Implantation of a spinal cord stimulation changes aspects of a patient’s structural anatomy that may pose challenges during spine surgery. Walsh et al point out there currently is no accepted guideline that addresses safety issues related to perioperative assessment of patients who have a spinal cord stimulator. The purpose of their study is to improve surgical planning to reduce surgical risks.


Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolytic, Dysplastic, Degenerative, Isthmic

Research Review
Presented by: Dwight Tyndall, MD, FAAOS


Lumbar spondylolisthesis, a forward slippage of one vertebral body over the one beneath, is a common spinal condition that affects children and adults. Often accompanying a spondylolisthesis is spondylolysis—a defect in the pars interarticularis. SpineScan reviews several studies and highlights key points about adjacent disc and facet joint degeneration, nonoperative treatment, injection therapy, and trends in surgical techniques.
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