SPORT Results Are Good News for Spine Patients

Appropriate surgery is helpful, cost-effective, and provides lasting results

Mary Ann Porucznik

The Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT), a multicenter, randomized controlled trial, studied the outcomes of the surgical and nonsurgical management of three conditions: intervertebral disk herniation (IDH), degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS), and lumbar spinal stenosis (SPS). In its initial design, SPORT stirred some controversy by establishing both a randomized controlled trial and an observational cohort, by permitting crossover between surgical and nonsurgical treatments, and by reporting results based on both observational and intent-to-treat analyses.

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