Lumbar Spine Pseudarthrosis: Scope of Problem, Evaluation, Imaging, and Treatment

Abstract

Pseudarthrosis of the lumbar spine is a known complication after spinal fusion and can lead to persistent or recurrent symptoms. However, not all patients with pseudarthrosis are necessarily symptomatic. Careful assessment should include a thorough patient history, physical examination, and corresponding imaging studies. The diagnosis of a symptomatic pseudarthrosis can be difficult, and a high index of suspicion is necessary. If feasible, nonsurgical options should be instituted first; if they fail, surgical intervention is warranted. Surgical options vary depending on the pathology present and should be individualized to the patient.

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