ORIGINAL ARTICLES: PDF OnlyHume Mary; Capen, Daniel A.; Nelson, Russell W.; Nagelberg, Steven; Thomas, James C. Jr.Journal of Spinal Disorders: April 1996 - p 121-124 Buy Abstract Summary Thirty-five patients were retrospectively reviewed after hardware removal after previous posterior lumbar spinal fusion by using Wiltse pedicle screw fixation. Pseudarthrosis was intraoperatively confirmed in 10 patients. Thirty of 35 patients were reviewed at an average of 17.5 months (range, 6–57 months). Of 30 patients, 30 had persistent back pain that limited activities and lumbar motion. Patients found to have pseudarthroses were significantly more likely to have less pain, use fewer narcotic medications, and have an improved quality of life after reoperation than patients found to have solid fusions. Postsurgical assessment of fusion is difficult, with instrumentation making exploration the most reliable method determining the state of arthrodesis. Accurate preoperative assessment of the fusion mass is the most important factor in deciding whether or not to reoperate on patients after Wiltse pedicle screw arthrodesis of the lumbar spine. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.