Postoperative exercise programmes for lumbar spine decompression surgery: a systematic review of the evidence

McFeely, Jennifer A.; Gracey, J.

The objectives of this review were to: (i) determine the effectiveness of exercise following lumbar decompression surgery; (ii) identify what the essential components of such exercise programmes should be; and (iii) evaluate the quality of research in this area based on current research initiatives. A literature search and methodological assessment identified nine high quality RCTs evaluating 1250 patients. The key finding from this review was that there is strong evidence to support the long-term effectiveness of structured intensive exercise programmes, initiated 4-6 weeks post-operatively. Back, abdominal and lower limb strengthening were found to offer the most positive results, but the exact parameters of an ideal exercise programme remain unknown. Encouraging activity through behavioural programmes or advice is also important.

Physical Therapy Reviews, Volume 11, Number 4, December 2006, pp. 248-262(15)

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