Both the paraspinal muscle sparing approach and percutaneous screw fixation are less traumatic procedures in comparison with the conventional midline approach. These techniques have been used with the goal of reducing muscle injury. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and to compare the safety and efficacy of the paraspinal muscle sparing technique and percutaneous screw fixation for the treatment of L5-S1 spondylolisthesis.
Twenty patients who had undergone posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) at the L5-S1 segment for spondylolisthesis were prospectively studied. They were divided into two groups by screw fixation technique (Group I : paraspinal muscle sparing approach and Group II: percutaneous screw fixation). Clinical outcomes were assessed by Low Back Outcome Score (LBOS) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for back and leg pain at different times after surgery. In addition, modified MacNab's grading criteria were used to assess subjective patients' outcomes 6 months after surgery. Postoperative midline surgical scarring, intraoperative blood loss, mean operation time, and procedure-related complications were analyzed.
Excellent or good results were observed in all patients in both groups 6 months after surgery. Patients in both groups showed marked improvement in terms of LBOSs all over time intervals. Postoperative midline surgical scarring and intraoperative blood loss were lower in Group II compared to Group I although these differences were not statistically significant. Low back pain (LBP) and leg pain in both groups also showed significant improvement when compared to preoperative scores. However, at 7 days and 1 month after surgery, patients in Group II had significantly better LBP scores compared to Group I.
In terms of LBP during the early postoperative period, patients who underwent percutaneous screw fixation showed better results compared to ones who underwent screw fixation via the paraspinal muscle sparing approach. Our results indicate that the percutaneous screw fixation procedure is the preferable minimally invasive technique for reducing LBP associated with L5-S1 spondylolisthesis.
Spondylolisthesis; Paraspinal muscle sparing approach; Percutaneous screw fixation; Back pain
The conventional open pedicle screw fusion (PSF) requires an extensive detachment of the paraspinal muscle from the posterior aspect of the lumbar spine, which can cause muscle injury and subsequently lead to “approach-related morbidity”. The spinous process-splitting (SPS) approach for decompression, unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression, and the Wiltse approach for pedicle screw insertion are considered to be less invasive to the paraspinal musculature. We investigated whether SPS open PSF combined with the abovementioned techniques attenuates the paraspinal muscle damage and yields favorable clinical results, including alleviation in the low back discomfort, in comparison to the conventional open PSF.
We studied 53 patients who underwent single-level PSF for the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis (27 patients underwent SPS open PSF and the other 26 underwent the conventional open PSF). The clinical outcomes were assessed using the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, the Roland–Morris disability questionnaire (RDQ), and the visual analog scale (VAS) for low back pain and low back discomfort (heavy feeling or stiffness). Postoperative multifidus (MF) atrophy was evaluated using MRI. Follow-up examinations were performed at 1 and 3 years after the surgery.
Although there was no significant difference in the JOA and RDQ score between the two groups, the VAS score for low back pain and discomfort after the surgery were significantly lower in the SPS open PSF group than in the conventional open PSF group. The extent of MF atrophy after SPS open PSF was reduced more significantly than after the conventional open PSF during the follow-up. The MF atrophy ratio was found to correlate with low back discomfort at the 1-year follow-up examination.
In conclusion, SPS open PSF was less damaging to the paraspinal muscle than the conventional open PSF and had a significant clinical effect, reducing low back discomfort over 1 year after the surgery.
Posterior lumbar fusion; Multifidus muscle; Wiltse approach; Minimally invasive; Conventionally open
We prospectively assessed the feasibility and safety of a new percutaneous pedicle screw (PPS) fixation technique for instrumentation of the thoracic and lumbar spine in this study. All patients were operated in the prone position under general anesthesia. A 6 to 8 cm midline skin incision was made and wide subcutaneous dissection was performed. The paravertebral muscles were first dissected subperiosteally into the midline incision of the fascia for lumbar microdiscectomy with transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion cage implantation. After the secondary paramedian incisions on the fascia, the PPSs were inserted via cleavage of the multifidus muscles directly into the pedicles under fluoroscopy visualization. A total of 35 patients underwent surgery with this new surgical technique. The control group for operative time, blood loss and analgesic usage consisted of 35 randomly selected cases from our department. The control group underwent surgery via conventional pedicle screw instrumentation with paramedian fusion. All patients in the minimal invasive surgery series were ambulatory with minimal pain on the first postoperative day. The operation time and blood loss and the postoperative analgesic consumption were significantly less with this new technique. In conclusion, the minimal invasive mini open split-muscular percutaneous pedicle screw fixation technique is safe and feasible. It can be performed via a short midline skin incision and can also be combined with interbody fusion, causing minimal pain without severe muscle damage.
minimally invasive; thoracolumbar; percutaneous; pedicle screw; spinal surgery
Prospective controlled study.
The results of conventional open surgery was compared with those from minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) for lumbar fusion to determine which approach resulted in less postoperative paraspinal muscle degeneration.
Overview of Literature
MI TLIF is new surgical technique that appears to minimize iatrogenic injury. However, there aren't any reports yet that have quantitatively analyzed and proved whether there's difference in back muscle injury and degeneration between the minimally invasive surgery and conventional open surgery in more than 1 year follow-up after surgery.
This study examined a consecutive series of 48 patients who underwent lumbar fusion in our hospital during the period, March 2006 to March 2008, with a 1-year follow-up evaluation using MRI. There were 17 cases of conventional open surgery and 31 cases of MI-TLIF (31 cases of single segment fusion and 17 cases of multi-segment fusion). The digital images of the paravertebral back muscles were analyzed and compared using the T2-weighted axial images. The point of interest was the paraspinal muscle of the intervertebral disc level from L1 to L5. Picture archiving and communication system viewing software was used for quantitative analysis of the change in fat infiltration percentage and the change in cross-sectional area of the paraspinal muscle, before and after surgery.
A comparison of the traditional posterior fusion method with MI-TLIF revealed single segment fusion to result in an average increase in fat infiltration in the paraspinal muscle of 4.30% and 1.37% and a decrease in cross-sectional area of 0.10 and 0.07 before and after surgery, respectively. Multi-segment fusion showed an average 7.90% and 2.79% increase in fat infiltration and a 0.16 and 0.10 decrease in cross-sectional area, respectively. Both single and multi segment fusion showed less change in the fat infiltration percentage and cross-sectional area, particularly in multi segment fusion. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the radiologic results.
A comparison of conventional open surgery with MI-TLIF upon degeneration of the paraspinal muscle with a 1 year follow-up evaluation revealed that both single and multi segment fusion showed less change in fat infiltration percentage and cross-sectional area in the MI-TLIF but there was no significant difference between the two groups. This suggests that as time passes after surgery, there is no significant difference in the level of degeneration of the paraspinal muscle between surgical techniques.
Paraspainal muscle; Fat degeneration; MRI; Posterior fusion
Screw fixation via the paraspinal muscle sparing approach and by percutaneous screw fixation are known to diminish the risk of complications, such as, iatrogenic muscle injury as compared with the conventional midline approach. The purpose of this study was to evaluate tissue injury markers after these less traumatic screw fixation techniques for the treatment of L4-L5 spondylolisthesis.
Twenty-two patients scheduled for posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) at the L4-L5 segment for spondylolisthesis were prospectively studied. Patients were divided into two groups by screw fixation technique (Group I: paraspinal muscle sparing approach and Group II: percutaneous screw fixation). Levels of serum enzymes representing muscle injury (CK-MM and Troponin C type 2 fast), pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-8), and anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1ra) were analyzed using ELISA techniques on the day of the surgery and 1, 3, and 7 days after the surgery.
Serum CK-MM, Troponic C type 2 fast (TNNC2), and IL-1ra levels were significantly elevated in Group I on postoperative day 1 and 3, and returned to preoperative levels on postoperative day 7. No significant intergroup difference was found between IL-8 levels despite higher concentrations in Group I on postoperative day 1 and 3.
This study shows that percutaneous screw fixation procedure is the preferable minimally invasive technique in terms of minimizing muscle injury associated with L4-L5 spondylolisthesis.
Paraspinal muscle sparing approach; Percutaneous screw fixation; Tissue injury
The influence of approach on outcomes of posterior nonfusion stabilization has not been described. This paper analyzes the influence of surgical approach on functional outcome with nonfusion stabilization.
We performed a prospective consecutive cohort outcome analysis of 88 patients who had undergone posterior nonfusion stabilization of the lumbar spine at 178 levels using the Dynesys system (Zimmer Spine, Inc, Warsaw, Indiana). Patients needing decompression (n = 42) were operated through a midline approach using microscopic laminotomy/foraminotomy with or without discectomy, followed by posterior nonfusion stabilization with Dynesys. None of the patients had a complete laminectomy. Patients not needing decompression (n = 46) underwent the procedure via the bilateral paraspinal muscle-sparing approach and were subsequently stabilized. Clinical and functional outcomes data were collected using the visual analog scale (VAS), Treatment Intensity Score (TIS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and SF-36. Average follow-up was 18 months (range, 12–36 mo).
All outcome measures in both groups showed significant improvement at last follow-up. Between the groups a significant difference was apparent in the reduction of the TIS when measured at 1 week and 6 weeks. The preoperative, 1-week, and 6-week values were 66, 48, and 40, respectively (P < 0.05), for the midline group and 80, 32, and 28 (P < 0.05) for the paraspinal group. This trend continued through 3 to 6 months after the procedure but did not reach statistical significance. In the paraspinal group, pain scores showed a nonsignificant trend toward lower values in the first month, compared with values in the midline group. Patients reported excellent to fair results, with the exception of three patients in the midline group and two in the paraspinal group, who rated the procedure as fair.
Significantly fewer patients required postoperative narcotics in the paraspinal group than in the midline group. This improvement in early outcomes suggests a significant early benefit to the less tissue-destructive muscle-sparing approach in posterior nonfusion stabilization procedures.
Posterior nonfusion spinal stabilization; muscle-sparing approach; paraspinal approach
Paraspinal muscle damage is inevitable during conventional posterior lumbar fusion surgery. Minimal invasive surgery is postulated to result in less muscle damage and better outcome. The aim of this study was to monitor metabolic changes of the paraspinal muscle and to evaluate paraspinal muscle damage during surgery using microdialysis (MD). The basic interstitial metabolisms of the paraspinal muscle and the deltoid muscle were monitored using the MD technique in eight patients, who underwent posterior lumbar fusion surgery (six male and two female, median age 57.7 years, range 37–74) and eight healthy individuals for different positions (five male and three female, age 24.1 ± 0.8 years). Concentrations of glucose, glycerol, and lactate pyruvate ratio (L/P) in both tissues were compared. In the healthy group, the glucose and glycerol concentrations and L/P were unchanged in the paraspinal muscle when the body position changed from prone to supine. The glucose concentration and L/P were stable in the paraspinal muscle during the surgery. Glycerol concentrations increased significantly to 243.0 ± 144.1 μM in the paraspinal muscle and 118.9 ± 79.8 μM in the deltoid muscle in the surgery group. Mean glycerol concentration difference (GCD) between the paraspinal muscle and the deltoid tissue was 124.1 μM (P = 0.003, with 95% confidence interval 83.4–164.9 μM). The key metabolism of paraspinal muscle can be monitored by MD during the conventional posterior lumbar fusion surgery. The glycerol concentration in the paraspinal muscle is markedly increased compared with the deltoid muscle during the surgery. It is proposed that GCD can be used to evaluate surgery related paraspinal muscle damage. Changing body position did not affect the paraspinal muscle metabolism in the healthy subjects.
Glucose; Lactate pyruvate ratio; Glycerol; Paraspinal muscle; Microdialysis
The goal of a fusion of the lumbar spine is to obtain a primary solid arthrodesis thus to alleviate pain. Different circumferential fusion techniques have been described such as combined anterior–posterior fusion (APF), instrumented posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). The TLIF procedure has rapidly gained popularity; because of its posterolateral extracanalar discectomy and fusion, it has been reported as a safe technique, without the potential complications described when using combined APF and PLIF techniques. A retrospective clinical and radiographic study was performed. The database of our Center was interrogated in a retrospective way to extract data from patients that underwent a one or two level lumbar fusion with TLIF approach. All patients had symptomatic disc degeneration of the lumbar spine. One hundred and fourteen levels fused from 2003 to 2008. All patients were operated in the same center. All the patients were operated by the same surgical team. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively at 1 and 3 months and 1 and 2 years follow-up. The spine was approached through a classic posterior midline incision and subperiosteal muscular detachment. The side of facetectomy was chosen according to the subject’s symptoms of leg pain if present. A posterolateral annulotomy was made and subtotal discectomy was performed and the hyaline cartilage of endplates was removed. Once the surgeon was satisfied with endplate preparation, a banana shaped allograft spacer was inserted through the annulotomy and placed anteriorly. Additional autograft locally harvested from decompression was packed behind the allograft spacer in all cases. Laminae and the remaining contralateral facet joint were decorticated, and packed with bone graft (local autologous and allograft chips in some cases). The posterior fusion was instrumented with pedicle screws and titanium rods. The TLIF procedure had led to shortened surgical times, less neurologic injury, and improved overall outcomes. The introduction of the TLIF procedure has allowed surgeons to achieve successful fusion without the risk of nerve root tethering that is seen so frequently with standard PLIF techniques.
TLIF; Minimal invasive fusion; Degenerative disc disease; Interbody fusion
On the basis of the experiences gained from conventional open spinal procedures, a long list of desirable objectives have emerged with the evolution of the lesser invasive spinal procedures. At the top of that list is the desire to minimize the trauma of surgery. The rest of the objectives, which include reductions of operating time, surgical blood loss, hospital stay, postoperative narcotic medication, convalescence, complication rates, and escalating health care costs, as well as the desire of elderly patients to continue rigorous physical activities, largely depend on the ability to minimize the trauma of surgery. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of the least invasive lumbar decompression, interbody fusion and percutaneous pedicle screw implantation, to minimize surgical trauma without compromising the quality of the treatment outcome, as well as to minimize risk of complications.
In this case series, 60 patients with diagnoses of degenerative disc disease, degenerative motion segments with stenosis, and spondylolisthesis, in whom nonoperative treatments failed, were treated with endoscopic transforaminal decompression and interbody fusion by 1 surgeon in 2 centers. The outcome measures were as follows: operating time, intraoperative blood loss, hospital stay, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores for back and leg pain, scores on the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, and postoperative imaging studies. A consecutive series of patients who met the treatment criteria completed VAS forms and Roland-Morris questionnaires preoperatively. Surgical procedures included arthroscopic decompression of the foramina and the discs; endplate preparation and implantation of allograft bone chips and bone morphogenetic protein 2 on absorbable collagen sponge into the disc space; and percutaneous implantation of pedicle screws. Postoperatively, the patients again completed the VAS forms and Roland-Morris questionnaires. Their charts were reviewed for office notes, operative notes, hospital stay, medications, and imaging studies. The latest X-ray and computed tomography scan films were reviewed and analyzed. Patients were followed up for a minimum of 6 months. The literature was reviewed for comparison of outcomes.
Sixty patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age was 52.8 years. The duration of illness averaged 5 years. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 25 months, with a mean of 12 months. Preoperative diagnoses included degenerative disc disease, degenerative motion segments with stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. The mean time in the operating room was 2 hours 54 minutes. Estimated blood loss averaged 57.6 mL. The duration of the hospital stay averaged 2.6 days. Preoperative back pain and leg pain were significantly reduced (P < .005). Forty-seven imaging studies obtained at the last visit, including X-ray and computed tomography scans, showed solid fusion in 28 patients (59.6%), stable fixation in 17 (36.2%), and osteolysis around the pedicle screws in 2 (4.2%). All patients had improvement of motor function, whereas 2 patients complained of residual numbness. In addition, 8 patients (13%) complained of residual discomfort on extension of the lumbar spine. Two patients had pedicle screw–related complications requiring surgery. A review of the literature showed that endoscopic transforaminal decompression and interbody fusion performed better than open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion/posterior lumbar interbody fusion, minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, and extreme lateral lumbar interbody fusion, with regard to most parameters studied.
The endoscopic transforaminal lumbar decompression, interbody fusion, and percutaneous pedicle screw instrumentation consistently produced satisfactory results in all demographics. It performed better than the alternative procedures for most parameters studied.
ETDIF; Arthroscopic; Posterolateral; Interbody; Percutaneous; BMP-2
We set out to determine whether a minimally invasive approach for one-level instrumented posterior lumbar interbody fusion reduced undesirable changes in the multifidus muscle, compared to a conventional open approach. We also investigated associations between muscle injury during surgery (creatinine kinase levels), clinical outcome and changes in the multifidus at follow-up. We studied 59 patients treated by one team of surgeons at a single institution (minimally invasive approach in 28 and conventional open approach in 31, voluntarily chosen by patients). More than 1 year postoperatively, all the patients were followed up with the visual analogue scale (VAS) and Oswestry disability index (ODI), and 16 patients from each group were evaluated using MRI. This enabled the cross-sectional area (CSA) of lean multifidus muscle, and the T2 signal intensity ratio of multifidus to psoas muscle, to be compared at the operative and adjacent levels. The minimally invasive group had less postoperative back pain (P < 0.001) and lower postoperative ODI scores (P = 0.001). Multifidus atrophy was less in the minimally invasive group (P < 0.001), with mean reductions in CSA of 12.2% at the operative and 8.5% at the adjacent levels, compared to 36.8% and 29.3% in the conventional open group. The increase in the multifidus:psoas T2 signal intensity ratio was similarly less marked in the minimally invasive group where values increased by 10.6% at the operative and 8.3% at the adjacent levels, compared to 34.4 and 22.7% in the conventional open group (P < 0.001). These changes in multifidus CSA and T2 signal intensity ratio were significantly correlated with postoperative creatinine kinase levels, VAS scores and ODI scores (P < 0.01). The minimally invasive approach caused less change in multifidus, less postoperative back pain and functional disability than conventional open approach. Muscle damage during surgery was significantly correlated with long-term multifidus muscle atrophy and fatty infiltration. Furthermore these degenerative changes of multifidus were also significantly correlated with long-term clinical outcome.
Minimally invasive; Lumbar spine; Multifidus muscle; Interbody fusion
The use of minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques represents the most recent modification of methods used to achieve lumbar interbody fusion. The advantages of minimally invasive spinal instrumentation techniques are less soft tissue injury, reduced blood loss, less postoperative pain and shorter hospital stay while achieving clinical outcomes comparable with equivalent open procedure. The aim was to study the clinicoradiological outcome of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.
Materials and Methods:
This prospective study was conducted on 23 patients, 17 females and 6 males, who underwent MIS-transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) followed up for a mean 15 months. The subjects were evaluated for clinical and radiological outcome who were manifested by back pain alone (n = 4) or back pain with leg pain (n = 19) associated with a primary diagnosis of degenerative spondylolisthesis, massive disc herniation, lumbar stenosis, recurrent disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. Paraspinal approach was used in all patients. The clinical outcome was assessed using the revised Oswestry disability index and Macnab criteria.
The mean age of subjects was 55.45 years. L4-L5 level was operated in 14 subjects, L5-S1 in 7 subjects; L3-L4 and double level was fixed in 1 patient each. L4-L5 degenerative listhesis was the most common indication (n = 12). Average operative time was 3 h. Fourteen patients had excellent results, a good result in 5 subjects, 2 subjects had fair results and 2 had poor results. Three patients had persistent back pain, 4 patients had residual numbness or radiculopathy. All patients had a radiological union except for 1 patient.
The study demonstrates a good clinicoradiological outcome of minimally invasive TLIF. It is also superior in terms of postoperative back pain, blood loss, hospital stay, recovery time as well as medication use.
Degenerative spine; lumbar fusion; minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; spondylolisthesis; Spinal arthritis; spondyloarthritis; spondylolisthesis; minimally invasive; spinal fusion
Spinal manipulation (SM) is a form of manual therapy used clinically to treat patients with low back and neck pain. The most common form of this maneuver is characterized as a high velocity (duration < 150ms), low amplitude (segmental translation < 2mm, rotation < 4°, and applied force 220-889N) impulse thrust (HVLA-SM). Clinical skill in applying an HVLA-SM lies in the practitioner's ability to control the duration and magnitude of the load (i.e., the rate of loading), the direction in which the load is applied, and the contact point at which the load is applied. Control over its mechanical delivery presumably related to its clinical effects. Biomechanical changes evoked by an HVLA-SM are thought to have physiological consequences caused, at least in part, by changes in sensory signaling from paraspinal tissues.
If activation of afferent pathways does contribute to the effects of an HVLA-SM, it seems reasonable to anticipate that neural discharge might increase or decrease in a non-linear fashion as the thrust duration thrust approaches a threshold value. We hypothesized that the relationship between the duration of an impulsive thrust to a vertebra and paraspinal muscle spindle discharge would be non-linear with an inflection near the duration of an HVLA-SM delivered clinically (<150ms). In addition, we anticipated that muscle spindle discharge would be more sensitive to larger amplitude thrusts.
A neurophysiological study of spinal manipulation using the lumbar spine of a feline model.
Impulse thrusts (duration: 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 ms; amplitude 1 or 2mm posterior to anterior) were applied to the spinous process of the L6 vertebra of deeply anesthetized cats while recording single unit activity from dorsal root filaments of muscle spindle afferents innervating the lumbar paraspinal muscles. A feedback motor was used in displacement control mode to deliver the impulse thrusts. The motor's drive arm was securely attached to the L6 spinous process via a forceps.
As thrust duration became shorter the discharge of the lumbar paraspinal muscle spindles increased in a curvilinear fashion. A concave up inflection occurred near the 100ms duration eliciting both a higher frequency discharge compared to the longer durations and a substantially faster rate of change as thrust duration was shortened. This pattern was evident in paraspinal afferents with receptive fields both close and far from the midline. Paradoxically, spindle afferents were almost twice as sensitive to the 1mm compared to the 2mm amplitude thrust (6.2 vs 3.3 spikes/s/mm/s). This latter finding may be related to the small vs large signal range properties of muscle spindles.
. The results indicate that the duration and amplitude of a spinal manipulation elicits a pattern of discharge from paraspinal muscle spindles different from slower mechanical inputs. Clinically, these parameters may be important determinants of an HVLA-SM's therapeutic benefit.
lumbar spine; spinal manipulation; chiropractic; osteopathy; paraspinal muscles; muscle spindle
The original description of the paraspinal posterior approach to the lumbar spine was for spinal fusion, especially regarding lumbosacral spondylolisthesis treatment. In spite of the technical details described by Wiltse, exact location of the area where the sacrospinalis muscle has to be split remains somewhat unclear. The goal of this study was to provide topographic landmarks to facilitate this surgical approach. Thirty cadavers were dissected in order to precisely describe the anatomy of the trans-muscular paraspinal approach. The level of the natural cleavage plane between the multifidus and the longissimus part of the sacrospinalis muscle was noted and measurements were done between this level and the midline at the level of the spinous process of L4. A natural cleavage plane between the multifidus and the longissimus part of the sacrospinalis muscle was present in all cases. There was a fibrous separation between the two muscular parts in 55 out of 60 cases. The mean distance between the level of the cleavage plane and the midline was 4 cm (2.4–5.5 cm). In all cases, small arteries and veins were present, precisely at the level of the cleavage plane. We found it possible to easily localize the anatomical cleavage plane between the multifidus part and the longissimus part of the sacrospinalis muscle. First the superficial muscular fascia is opened near the midline, exposing the posterior aspect of the sacrospinalis muscle. Then, the location of the muscular cleft can be found by identifying the perforating vessels leaving the anatomical inter-muscular space.
Paraspinal approach; Lumbar spine; Lumbosacral spondylolisthesis; Sacrospinalis muscle; Minimally invasive approach
This prospective study analyzes the perioperative outcomes and long-term fusion success of 100 consecutive lumbar degenerative cases. The cases were managed using a non-threaded locking screw system, in conjunction with polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cages, for posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) procedures. These 100 cases were compared to another prospective study treating patients with the same inclusion and exclusion criteria using conventional plate-based pedicle screw spinal instrumentation augmented with carbon fiber interbody cages.
A total of 167 operative levels were treated in 100 patients (51 single-level, 39 two-level and 10 three-level cases). Eleven cases were revisions and 67 patients received interbody fusion cages. Patients had an average of 22.8 ± 4.0 months followup. Results: There was one instrumentation failure but no significant subsidence at the interbody fusion level. The disc space height was restored as part of the surgical procedure at the interbody cage levels: from 7.5 ± 2.3 mm preoperative to 9.0 ± 2.1 mm postoperative. There were 2 cases of pseudarthrosis (2 / 100 = 2%). The average operative time for 1-level cases was 111 ± 25 minutes; for 2-level cases it was 132.4 ± 21.8 minutes; and for 3-level cases it was 162.6 ± 33 minutes. Blood loss averaged 800 ± 473 cc for 1-level cases, 1055 ± 408 cc for 2 levels, and 1155 ± 714 cc for 3 levels. The length of stay was similar between the 3 groups (4.4 ± 1.2 days for single-level cases, 4.7 ± 1.1 for 2 levels, and 5.0 ± 1.1 for 3 levels; P > .05). There were 3 incidental durotomies, and 4 other patients developed infections postoperatively that required reoperation.
The disc and foraminal heights can be restored and maintained with a unilateral cage and pedicle screw construct. Unilateral transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion using a PEEK cage combined with a non-threaded locking pedicle screw and rod system results in similar fusion rates to those achieved using the bilateral Brantigan interbody fusion cage or a single BAK Vista implant. When compared to the bilateral Brantigan cages, decreased operative time (P < .001), decreased blood loss (P < .001) and reduced incidence of dural tears (P < .001) are advantages of using a non-threaded locking screw system and single PEEK interbody cage for lumbar degenerative conditions without compromising subsequent fusion rates.
Deformity; Interbody Fusion; Spinal Instrumentation
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is the standard surgical treatment for patients with lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis who do not respond to a 6-week course of conservative therapy. A number of morbidities are associated with the conventional open-TLIF method, so minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques for TLIF (MIS-TLIF) have been introduced to reduce the trauma to paraspinal muscles and hasten postoperative recovery. Because providing cost-effective medical treatment is a core initiative of healthcare reforms, a comparison of open-TLIF and MIS-TLIF must include a cost-utility analysis in addition to an analysis of clinical effectiveness.
We compared patient-reported clinical functional outcomes and hospital direct costs in age-matched patients treated surgically with either open-TLIF or MIS-TLIF. Patients were followed for at least 1 year, and patient scores on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) were analyzed at 6 weeks, 6 months, and ≥1 year postoperatively in the 2 treatment groups.
Compared to their preoperative scores, patients in both the open-TLIF and MIS-TLIF groups had significant improvements in the ODI and VAS scores at each follow-up point, but no significant difference in functional outcome occurred between the open-TLIF and MIS-TLIF groups (P=0.46). However, open-TLIF is significantly more costly compared to MIS-TLIF (P=0.0002).
MIS-TLIF is a more cost-effective treatment than open-TLIF for patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis and is equally effective as the conventional open-TLIF procedure, although further financial analysis—including an analysis of indirect costs—is needed to better understand the full benefit of MIS-TLIF.
Costs and cost analysis; outcome assessment; pain measurement; spinal fusion; spinal instrumentation; spondylolisthesis; surgical procedures–minimally invasive
Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS) has become increasingly common and is characterized by multilevel disc herniation and lumbar spondylolisthesis, which are difficult to treat. The current study aimed to evaluate the short-term clinical outcomes and value of the combined use of microendoscopic discectomy (MED) and minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) for the treatment of multilevel DLSS with spondylolisthesis, and to compare the combination with traditional posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF). A total of 26 patients with multilevel DLSS and spondylolisthesis underwent combined MED and MI-TLIF surgery using a single cage and pedicle rod-screw system. These cases were compared with 27 patients who underwent traditional PLIF surgery during the same period. Data concerning incision length, surgery time, blood loss, time of bed rest and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score prior to and following surgery were analyzed statistically. Statistical significance was reached in terms of incision length, blood loss and the time of bed rest following surgery (P<0.05), but there was no significant difference between the surgery time and ODI scores of the two groups. The combined use of MED and MI-TLIF has the advantages of reduced blood loss, less damage to the paraspinal soft tissue, shorter length of incision, shorter bed rest time, improved outcomes and shorter recovery times and has similar short-term clinical outcomes to traditional PLIF.
microendoscopic discectomy; minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; posterior lumbar interbody fusion; lumbar spinal stenosis; lumbar spondylolisthesis
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is commonly used procedure for spinal fusion. However, there are no reports describing anterior cage dislodgement after surgery. This report is a rare case of anterior dislodgement of fusion cage after TLIF for the treatment of isthmic spondylolisthesis with lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LSTV). A 51-year-old man underwent TLIF at L4-5 with posterior instrumentation for the treatment of grade 1 isthmic spondylolisthesis with LSTV. At 7 weeks postoperatively, imaging studies demonstrated that banana-shaped cage migrated anteriorly and anterolisthesis recurred at the index level with pseudoarthrosis. The cage was removed and exchanged by new cage through anterior approach, and screws were replaced with larger size ones and cement augmentation was added. At postoperative 2 days of revision surgery, computed tomography (CT) showed fracture on lateral pedicle and body wall of L5 vertebra. He underwent surgery again for paraspinal decompression at L4-5 and extension of instrumentation to S1 vertebra. His back and leg pains improved significantly after final revision surgery and symptom relief was maintained during follow-up period. At 6 months follow-up, CT images showed solid fusion at L4-5 level. Careful cage selection for TLIF must be done for treatment of spondylolisthesis accompanied with deformed LSTV, especially when reduction will be attempted. Banana-shaped cage should be positioned anteriorly, but anterior dislodgement of cage and reduction failure may occur in case of a highly unstable spine. Revision surgery for the treatment of an anteriorly dislodged cage may be effectively performed using an anterior approach.
Cage; Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; Spondylolisthesis; Lumbosacral spine; Transitional vertebra
Cross-sectional study with repeated measures design.
To compare the myosin heavy chain isoform distribution within and between paraspinal muscles and to test the theory that fiber type gradients exist as a function of paraspinal muscle depth.
Summary of Background Data
There is still uncertainty regarding the fiber type distributions within different paraspinal muscles. It has been previously proposed that deep fibers of the multifidus muscle may contain a higher ratio of type I to type II fibers, because, unlike superficial fibers, they primarily stabilize the spine, and may therefore have relatively higher endurance. Using a minimally invasive surgical approach, utilizing tubular retractors that are placed within anatomic inter-muscular planes, it was feasible to obtain biopsies from the multifidus, longissimus, iliocostalis and psoas muscles at specific predefined depths.
Under an IRB approved protocol, muscle biopsies were obtained from 15 patients who underwent minimally invasive spinal surgery, using the posterior paramedian (Wiltse) approach or the minimally invasive lateral approach. Myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform distribution was analyzed using SDS-PAGE electrophoresis. Since multiple biopsies were obtained from each patient, MyHC distribution was compared using both within- and between-muscle repeated measures analyses.
The fiber type distribution was similar among the posterior paraspinal muscles and was composed of relatively high percentage of type I (63%), compared to type IIA (19%) and type IIX (18%) fibers. In contrast, the psoas muscle was found to contain a lower percentage of type I fibers (42%) and a higher percentage of type IIA (33%) and IIX fibers (26%; P<0.05). No significant difference was found for fiber type distribution among three different depths of the multifidus and psoas muscles.
Fiber type distribution between the posterior paraspinal muscles is consistent and is composed of relatively high percentage of type I fibers, consistent with a postural function. The psoas muscle, on the other hand, is composed of a higher percentage of type II fibers such as in the appendicular muscles. Our data do not support the idea of a fiber type gradient as a function of depth for any muscle studied.
Lumbar multifidus; Muscle mechanics; Lumbar spine
We attempted to identify changes in back muscle atrophy occurring in multilevel minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion (MITLIF) and the impact of these changes on clinical outcomes.
This study was conducted on 92 patients who underwent unilateral MITLIF between 2006 and 2013, had been tracked with a follow-up for at least 1 year, and had been assessed by pre- and postoperative computed tomography (CT). For the clinical evaluation, a pre- and postoperative visualized analog scale (VAS) of the back and legs, and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were measured. CT was used for the evaluation of back muscle atrophy and a cross-sectional area (CSA) of the multifidus was measured at the level below a fused segment, excluding metal artifacts.
There was no significant difference in the reduction of CSA between groups with one-, two-, or three-plus-segment fusion. In addition, no statistically significant differences were found in the pre- and postoperative VAS of the back, VAS of the legs, and ODI between the three groups. The reduction of CSA showed a statistically significant positive correlation with preoperative VAS of the back (p = 0.025, r = 0.562). On the other hand, no significant difference was found in VAS of the leg (p = 0.437, r = 0.082) and ODI (p = 0.106, r = 0.017).
When performing unilateral multilevel MITLIF, significant difference was not found in the atrophy of the multifidus according to the number of fused segments. The clinical outcomes also showed no significant difference. Therefore, unilateral MITLIF can be considered to be an effective surgical method to minimize lumbar muscle damage, even at multiple levels.
Spinal fusion; Minimally invasive surgery; Unilateral approach; Contralateral indirect decompression
To determine the effectiveness of bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach using unilateral pedicle screw fixation for two-level lumbar stenosis with instability.
Between October 2006 and October 2010, 98 patients (61 men and 37 women) who had reached the three-year follow-up interval were treated with unilateral pedicle screw fixation at the authors’ institution. All patients underwent two-level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), and the mean age was 59.6 years (range, 40–72). Visual analog scale (VAS) scores and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were used to assess the pre-operative and postoperative clinical results. Fusion status, the disc space height, and the whole lumbar lordotic angle were analysed for the radiological evaluation.
The ODI scores decreased significantly in both early and late follow-up evaluations and the visual analog scale (VAS) score demonstrated significant improvement in late follow-up (P < 0.01). The disc space height (P < 0.05) and the whole lumbar lordotic angle (P < 0.05) were increased at the final follow-up. Successful fusion was achieved in all patients.
Bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach using unilateral pedicle screw fixation for two-level lumbar stenosis with instability, which can maintain the lumbar lordosis and the disc space height, is an effective and less invasive method than with bilateral constructs.
Unilateral; Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; Lumbar stenosis; Invasive
We retrospectively evaluated 488 percutaneous pedicle screws in 110 consecutive patients that had undergone minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MITLIF) to determine the incidence of pedicle screw misplacement and its relevant risk factors. Screw placements were classified based on postoperative computed tomographic findings as “correct”, “cortical encroachment” or as “frank penetration”. Age, gender, body mass index, bone mineral density, diagnosis, operation time, estimated blood loss (EBL), level of fusion, surgeon’s position, spinal alignment, quality/quantity of multifidus muscle, and depth to screw entry point were considered to be demographic and anatomical variables capable of affecting pedicle screw placement. Pedicle dimensions, facet joint arthritis, screw location (ipsilateral or contralateral), screw length, screw diameter, and screw trajectory angle were regarded as screw-related variables. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine relations between these variables and the correctness of screw placement. The incidence of cortical encroachment was 12.5% (61 screws), and frank penetration was found for 54 (11.1%) screws. Two patients (0.4%) with medial penetration underwent revision for unbearable radicular pain and foot drop, respectively. The odds ratios of significant risk factors for pedicle screw misplacement were 3.373 (95% CI 1.095–10.391) for obesity, 1.141 (95% CI 1.024–1.271) for pedicle convergent angle, 1.013 (95% CI 1.006–1.065) for EBL >400 cc, and 1.003 (95% CI 1.000–1.006) for cross-sectional area of multifidus muscle. Although percutaneous insertion of pedicle screws was performed safely during MITLIF, several risk factors should be considered to improve placement accuracy.
Risk factor; Percutaneous; Pedicle screw; Minimally invasive; TLIF
The traditional posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) technique usually involves implantation of two cages through a bilateral approach and bilateral laminectomy, which requires bilateral transpedicle screw fixation. The procedure itself has several negative impacts. Therefore, a modified PLIF procedure that includes insertion of a unilateral cage through the symptomatic side with supplementary unilateral pedicle screws has been conducted.
Materials and methods
Thirty-one patients with unilateral radiculopathy who were diagnosed with spinal stenosis along with degenerative disc disease and a herniated intervertebral disc with lumbar instability underwent a unilateral PLIF using a single cage and unilateral pedicle screws. The postoperative clinical evaluation was based on the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for back pain and leg pain at multiple time points following the surgery. Radiological assessments were performed with lateral plain radiographs taken preoperation, immediately postoperation, 1, 2, 3 and 6 months postoperation and at the most recent follow-up.
The patients all underwent a single-level fusion, and the mean duration for the surgeries was 94 min. The mean haemorrhage volume was 250 ml, and no blood transfusion was required for any of the cases. Twelve months postoperatively, all patients had achieved an Excellent or Good outcome (Excellent in 28 patients and Good in 3). The mean pain score was 6.8 prior to surgery and decreased to 2.3 at the 3-month postoperative examination. No significant complications or neurological deterioration occurred. None of the 31 patients appeared to have any fusion failure. No broken screw, screw loosening, significant cage migration or subsidence was observed in any of the cases. A mean increase in the intervertebral disc height of 3.14 mm from the preoperative measurement to the most recent follow-up examination was determined to be statistically significant (p = 0.05).
Conducting PLIF using the diagonal insertion of a single cage with supplemental unilateral transpedicular screw instrumentation enables sufficient decompression and solid interbody fusion to be achieved with minimal invasion of the posterior spinal elements. This technique is a more clinically secure, straightforward and cost-effective way to perform PLIF.
Lumbar PLIF; Single cage; Unilateral transpedicular screws
Various modalities of treatment from standard discectomy, microdiscectomy, percutaneous discectomy, and transforaminal endoscopic discectomy have been in use for lumbar intervertebral disc prolapse. The access to spine is kept to a minimum without stripping paraspinal muscles minimizing muscle damage by posterior interlaminar endoscopic approach. The aim of this study was to evaluate technical problems, complications, and overall initial results of microendoscopic discectomy.
Materials and Methods:
First 100 consecutive cases aged 19-65 years operated by microendoscopic dissectomy between August 2002 – December 2005 are reported. All patients with single nerve root lesions including sequestrated or migrated and selected central disc at L4-5 and L5-S1 were included. The patients with bilateral radiculopathy were excluded. All patients had preoperative MRI and first 11 patients had postoperative MRI to check the adequacy of decompression. Diagnostic selective nerve root blocks were done in selective cases to isolate the single root lesion when MRI was inconclusive (n=7). All patients were operated by a single surgeon with the Metrx system (Medtronics). 97 were operated by 18-mm ports, and only three patients were operated by 16-mm ports. Postoperatively, all patients were mobilized as soon as the pain subsided and discharged within 24–48 h postsurgery. Patients were evaluated for technical problems, complications, and overall results by modified Macnab criteria. Patients were followed up at 2, 6, and 12 weeks.
The mean follow up was 12 months (range 3 months – 4 years). Open conversion was required in one patient with suspected root damage. Peroperatively single facet removal was done in 5 initial cases. Minor dural punctures occurred in seven cases and root damage in one case. The average surgical time was 70 min (range 25-210 min). Average blood loss was 20-30 ml. Technical difficulties encountered in initial 25 cases were insertion of guide pin, image orientation, peroperative dissection and bleeding problems, and reaching wrong levels suggestive of a definitive learning curve. Postoperative MRI (n=11) showed complete decompression. Overall 91% of patients had good-to-excellent results, with four patients having recurrence of whom three were reoperated. Four patients had postoperative discitis. One of the patients required fusion for discitis and rest were managed conservatively. One patient had root damage to L5 root that had paresthesia in L5 region even on 4 years of follow-up.
Microendoscopic discectomy is minimally invasive procedure for discectomy with early encouraging results. Once definite learning curve was over and expertise is acquired, the results of this procedure are acceptable safe and effective.
Lumbar discectomy; microendo system; endoscopic lumbar discectomy
Though Wiltse developed the paraspinal muscle-splitting approach to the spine, the exact location of where and how to split the paraspinal musculature when performing this approach remains unclear. This type of approach may be particularly useful for posterior nonfusion stabilization as significantly less damage occurs with this approach than with a muscle-stripping approach.
We use the term “modified muscle-sparing approach” to describe our technique for following the natural cleavage plane between the multifidus and longissimus muscles to access the spine. We review the rationale behind this methodology and describe technical aspects of this approach and also demonstrate the technique on video.
We use this technique routinely for our posterior nonfusion pedicle screw stabilization approach.
The modified muscle-sparing approach is a useful approach for insertion of pedicle screw-based posterior nonfusion stabilization. The approach can be readily performed with little blood loss and with little muscle damage. Decompression can also be performed through the same incision if needed.
MIS; muscle-sparing approach; posterior nonfusion stabilization
To investigate the changes of cross sectional area (CSA) in paraspinal muscles upon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal osteoporotic spinal compression fractures.
We reviewed 81 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, who had underwent MRI examination. The patients were divided into 51 patients who had osteoporotic spinal compression fractures (group I), and 30 patients who without fractures (group II). Group I were subdivided into IA and IB, based on whether they were younger (IA) of older (IB) than 70 years of age. We additionally measured body mass index and BMD. The CSA of multifidus, erector spinae, paraspinal muscles, psoas major (PT), and intervertebral (IV) discs were measured. The degree of fatty atrophy was estimated using three grades.
The BMD and T-score of group I were significantly lower than those of group II. The CSA of erector spinae, paraspinal muscles, and PT in the group I was significantly smaller than that of group II. The CSA of paraspinal muscles in group IB were significantly smaller than those of group IA. The CSA of erector spinae, mutifidus, and PT in group IB were smaller than those of group IA, but the difference was not statistically significant. Group 1 exhibited greater fat infiltration in the paraspinal muscle than group II.
Postmenopausal osteoporotic spinal compression fracture is associated with profound changes of the lumbar paraspinal muscle, reduction of CSA, increased CSA of IV disc, and increased intramuscular fat infiltration.
Cross-sectional area; Fractures compression; Paraspinal muscles; Postmenopause