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January 20, 1945

THE TREATMENT OF SPONDYLOLISTHESIS

JAMA. 1945;127(3):137-139. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860030009002

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Abstract

This study was begun with the thought that fixation of opposing vertebrae resulting from complete removal of an affected disk at the site of the spondylolisthesis would produce a much simpler and more effective fusion of the spine than the customary fusion with bone grafts. The observations from the series of patients operated on has led to unexpected conclusions; i. e. (1) that the spondylolisthesis is usually responsible for only part and at times none of the symptoms, (2) that in most (not all) instances it is not the spondylolisthesis or even the disk at its site that causes the symptoms but rather another disk or disks and (3) that therefore cure usually depends more on removal of the other disk or disks than on the one at the site of the spondylolisthesis, though this too must be extirpated.

The principal reasons for these seemingly paradoxical conclusions are that: 1.

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