Seven years follow-up for total lumbar facet joint replacement (TOPS) in the management of lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis

Yoram Anekstein, Yizhar Floman, Yossi Smorgick*, Nahshon Rand, Michael Millgram, Yigal Mirovsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and clinical improvement of a total posterior arthroplasty system in the surgical management of lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis and or spinal stenosis. Methods: During a 1-year period (June 2006 to July 2007), ten patients were enrolled in a non-randomized prospective clinical study. The primary indication was neurogenic claudication due to spinal stenosis with single-level degenerative spondylolisthesis. Patients were evaluated with X-rays and MRI scans, visual analog scale (VAS) for back and leg pain, the Oswestry disability questionnaire, and the SF-36 health survey preoperatively, at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months and at 1, 2, 3 and 7 years postoperatively. Results: The VAS score for back pain dropped from 56.2 preoperatively to 12.5 at 6 weeks and 19 at 7 years follow-up. The VAS score for worse leg pain dropped from 83.5 before surgery to 13 at 6 weeks and 8.8 at 7 years follow-up. The ODI dropped from 49.1 preoperatively to 13.5 at 6 weeks and 7.8 at 7 years follow-up. MRI examination at 7 years after surgery did not demonstrate stenosis adjacent to the stabilized segment. Spondylolisthesis did not progress in any of the cases. One patient had a symptomatic L3–L4 far lateral disc herniation 5 years after surgery whose symptoms resolved with non-operative treatment. In one patient, conversion to posterolateral fusion was performed due to an early device malfunction. Conclusion: In patients with spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis, decompression and posterior arthroplasty with the TOPS System can maintain clinical improvement and radiologic stability over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2306-2314
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis
  • Neurogenic claudication
  • Spinal stenosis
  • TOPS


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