HealthDay News — Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) improved significantly after surgery among pediatric patients with high-grade spondylolisthesis, especially for patients with low baseline HRQOL scores, researchers found. 

Étienne Bourassa-Moreau, MD, from the University of Montreal, and colleagues conducted an observational case series study involving 28 pediatric patients with high-grade spondylolisthesis (23 managed surgically and five managed nonsurgically) for a minimum of two years to describe changes in HRQOL.

Neurologic exams and radiographic evaluations of slip grade were conducted, and self-reported Scoliosis Research Society questionnaires (SRS-22) were administered at baseline and follow-up. The findings were published in the Spine Journal.

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At baseline and last follow-up, the total SRS-22 scores were 3.31 ± 0.50 and 4.26 ± 0.50, respectively, for surgical patients (P<0.001). The corresponding scores for nonsurgical patients were 4.12 ± 0.16 and 4.14 ± 0.38 (P=0.854).

There was a significant correlation between improvement in the SRS-22 score and low baseline value of SRS-22 (P<0.001). In the nonsurgical patients there was no neurologic or slip deterioration during the follow-up.

“This article demonstrated that the HRQOL significantly improves after surgery in pediatric high-grade spondylolisthesis, especially in patients with low baseline HRQOL scores,” the researchers wrote. “Nonsurgical treatment with observation of high-grade spondylolisthesis can be considered in patients with near-normal baseline HRQOL, no evidence of progression, and no neurologic impairment.”


  1. Bourassa-Moreau É et al. Spine J. 2013; 13(7):770-774.