Operative repair of symptomatic spondylolysis following a positive response to diagnostic pars injection

Shing-Sheng Wu, Chian Her Lee, Po Quang Chen

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47 Citations (Scopus)


From 1989 to 1996, 275 patients (245 male and 20 female) with back pain symptoms and spondylolysis of the lumbar spine were reviewed. All patients were evaluated by a protocol that included nonoperative treatment, bone scan, and pars injection. Only those whose symptoms failed nonoperative measures, showing negative bone scan and positive pars injection, were regarded as candidates for surgical management. Pars injection with Marcaine was done, and there were 93 cases with a positive response of reproducing symptoms and symptom relief. Patients then received autogenous bone grafting and internal fixation of the pars interarticularis defect. The internal fixation devices used included translaminar screws (AO 3.5 cancellous screw) for the most frequent level of L5, hook screws for levels above L4, and augmentation with wire for cases with concomitant spinal bifida occulta. The average age of the surgical group (85 male and 8 female) was 23 years (range: 19-35 years). After a follow-up averaging 30.4 months (range: 24-48 months), fusion results were 87%. Clinical results of 85 cases (91.3%) were excellent to good; 8 cases were fair; there were no poor cases. Direct repair of the pars defect by internal fixation and bone grafting was done to preserve involved motion segment and to prevent abnormal stresses at adjacent levels. These procedures seemed to be clinically effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spinal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct repair
  • Pars injection
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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