Pain and disability following first-time lumbar fusion surgery for degenerative disorders: a systematic review protocol

Niek Koenders*, Alison Rushton, Nicola Heneghan, Martin L. Verra, Paul Willems, Thomas Hoogeboom, Bart Staal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Lumbar spinal fusion for degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine is frequently used, despite current research presenting inconclusive evidence. This study aims to systematically review and meta-analyse the natural course of pain and disability in patients with degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, disc herniation, or discogenic low back pain to improve lumbar spinal fusion management.

Methods/design: An electronic database search will be conducted up to 30 September 2015 using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and ZETOC database. In addition, a search for articles in press and published ahead of print, British National Bibliography for Report Literature, and OpenGrey will be conducted. Prospective cohort studies using outcome measures of pain and disability will be eligible for inclusion. Two reviewers will screen titles, abstracts, and full-text independently using predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The risk of bias of included studies will be assessed with the modified version of the Quality in Prognostic Studies tool. If meta-analysis of outcome data is deemed appropriate, variance-weighted pooled means will be calculated.

Discussion: The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis may improve understanding of recovery after lumbar spinal fusion and improve lumbar spinal fusion management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Number of pages5
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Spinal fusion
  • Spinal surgery
  • Pain
  • Disability
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated disc

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