2021 Volume 16 Issue 1 Pages 56-61
Objective: Lumbar spondylolysis, caused by stress fracture of the pars interarticularis may lead to a bony defect or spondylolisthesis. In adolescents, its surgical treatment employs the smiley face rod method for direct reduction of pseudoarthrotic spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. Clinical outcomes of this treatment have been occasionally described; however, implant removal has not been discussed previously. We present a patient with lumbar spondylolysis with grade 1 slip at the 5th lumbar vertebra (L5) per the Meyerding classification.
Patient: A 14-year-old boy presented with chronic severe lower back pain. Since conservative therapy did not resolve pain or enable resuming sports activities, the smiley face rod repair was performed 7 months after the initial treatment.
Result: Anterior slippage of the L5 was surgically reduced. The patient wore a brace for 3 months postoperatively, and partial bone fusion was noted 6 months postoperatively. He resumed his sports activity 8 months postoperatively, and absolute bone fusion was confirmed 18 months postoperatively. Implant removal was performed 3 years postoperatively. Grade 1 slip was corrected with absolute bone fusion, and long-term follow-up revealed good results in terms of healing and rehabilitation.
Conclusion: Smiley face rod method that allows for implant removal after bone fusion is suitable for adolescents.