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Reliability and development of a new classification of lumbosacral spondylolisthesis

Mac-Thiong, Jean-Marc; Labelle, Hubert; Parent, Stefan; Hresko, Michael; Deviren, Vedat; Weidenbaum, Mark

A classification of lumbosacral spondylolisthesis has been proposed recently. This classification describes eight distinct types of spondylolisthesis based on the slip grade, the degree of dysplasia, and the sagittal sacro-pelvic balance. The objectives of this study are to assess the reliability of this classification and to propose a new and refined classification. Standing posteroanterior and lateral radiographs of the spine and pelvis of 40 subjects (22 low-grade, 18 high-grade) with lumbosacral spondylolisthesis were reviewed twice by six spine surgeons. Each radiograph was classified based on the slip grade, the degree of dysplasia, and the sagittal sacro-pelvic balance. No measurements from the radiographs were allowed. Intra- and inter-observer reliability was assessed using kappa coefficients. A refined classification is proposed based on the reliability study. All eight types of spondylolisthesis described in the original classification were identified. Overall intra- and inter-observer agreement was respectively 76.7% (kappa: 0.72) and 57.0% (kappa: 0.49). The specific intra-observer agreement was 97.1% (kappa: 0.94), 85.0% (kappa: 0.69) and 88.8% (kappa: 0.85) with respect to the slip grade, the degree of dysplasia, and the sacro-pelvic balance, respectively. The specific inter-observer agreement was 95.2% (kappa: 0.90), 72.2% (kappa: 0.43) and 77.2% (kappa: 0.69) with respect to the slip grade, the degree of dysplasia, and the sacro-pelvic balance, respectively. This study confirmed that surgeons can classify radiographic findings into all eight types of spondylolisthesis. The intra-observer reliability was substantial, while the inter-observer reliability was moderate mainly due to the difficulty in distinguishing between low- and high-dysplasia. A refined classification excluding the assessment of dysplasia, while incorporating the assessment of the slip grade, sacro-pelvic balance and global spino-pelvic balance is proposed, and now includes five types of lumbosacral spondylolisthesis.

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Academic Units
Orthopaedic Surgery
Publisher
BioMed Central
Published Here
September 8, 2014