Percutaneous techniques may be helpful to reduce approach-related morbidity of conventional open surgery. The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of mini-open posterior lumbar interbody fusion for instabilities and degenerative disc diseases. From May 2005 until October 2008, 20 patients affected by monosegmental instability and disc herniation underwent mini-open lumbar interbody fusion combined with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation of the lumbar spine. Clinical outcome was assessed using the Visual Analog Scale, Oswestry Disability Index, and Short Form Health Survey-36. The mean follow-up was 24 months. The mean estimated blood loss was 126 ml; the mean length of stay was 5.3 days; the mean operative time was 171 min. At 24-month follow-up, the mean VAS score was 2.1, mean ODI was 27.1%, and mean SF-36 was 85.2%. 80 screws were implanted in 20 patients. 74 screws showed very good position, 5 screws acceptable, and 1 screw unacceptable. A solid fusion was achieved in 17 patients (85%). In our opinion, mini-open TLIF is a valid and safe treatment of lumbar instability and degenerative disc diseases in order to obtain faster return to daily activities.
Percutaneous pedicle screw; Minimally invasive fusion; Disc herniation
With the advancement of instrumentation and minimally access techniques in the field of spine surgery, good surgical decompression and instrumentation can be done for tuberculous spondylitis with known advantage of MIS (minimally invasive surgery). The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of the minimally invasive techniques in the surgical treatment of patients with tuberculous spondylodiscitis.
Materials and Methods:
23 patients (Group A) with a mean age 38.2 years with single-level spondylodiscitis between T4-T11 treated with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) involving anterior debridement and fusion and 15 patients (Group B) with a mean age of 32.5 years who underwent minimally invasive posterior pedicle screw instrumentation and mini open posterolateral debridement and fusion were included in study. The study was conducted from Mar 2003 to Dec 2009 duration. The indication of surgery was progressive neurological deficit and/or instability. The patients were evaluated for blood loss, duration of surgery, VAS scores, improvement in kyphosis, and fusion status. Improvement in neurology was documented and functional outcome was judged by oswestry disability index (ODI).
The mean blood loss in Group A (VATS category) was 780 ml (330-1180 ml) and the operative time averaged was 228 min (102-330 min). The average preoperative kyphosis in Group A was 38° which was corrected to 30°. Twenty-two patients who underwent VATS had good fusion (Grade I and Grade II) with failure of fusion in one. Complications occurred in seven patients who underwent VATS. The mean blood loss was 625 ml (350-800 ml) with an average duration of surgery of 255 min (180-345 min) in the percutaneous posterior instrumentation group (Group B). The average preoperative segmental (kyphosis) Cobb's angle of three patients with thoracic TB in Group B was 41.25° (28-48°), improved to 14.5°(11°- 21°) in the immediate postoperative period (71.8% correction). The average preoperative segmental kyphosis in another 12 patients in Group B with lumbar tuberculosis of 20.25° improved to –12.08° of lordosis with 32.33° average correction of deformity. Good fusion (Grade I and Grade II) was achieved in 14 patients and Grade III fusion in 1 patient in Group B. One patient suffered with pseudoarthrosis/doubtful fusion with screw loosening in the percutaneous group.
Good fusion rate with encouraging functional results can be obtained in caries spine with minimally invasive techniques with all the major advantages of a minimally invasive procedures including reduction in approach-related morbidity.
Minimally invasive spine surgery; tuberculous spondylodiscitis; video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
Progressive and/or painful adult spinal deformity in the thoracolumbar and lumbar spine is sometimes treated surgically by long posterior fusions from the thoracic spine down to the pelvis, especially where there is a major thoracic curve component. Recent advances in anterior spinal instrumentation and spinal surgery technique have demonstrated the improved corrective ability offered by anterior stabilization systems, and the added benefit of limiting the number of vertebral fusion levels required for control of the deformity. The “hybrid technique” is a novel use of anterior instrumentation that applies limited anterior instrumentation down to the low lumbar spine (rods and screws), and partially overlapping short-segment posterior instrumentation to the sacrum (pedicle screws and rods). These constructs avoid posterior thoracic instrumentation and fusions, and avoid extension of posterior instrumentation to the pelvis. In the first 10 patients treated using this technique, thoracolumbar and lumbar major curve correction has averaged 71 and 82% in the immediate postoperative period (n = 7), respectively, and 59 and 68% at 2-year follow-up, respectively. The technique is an appealing and attractive alternative for treatment of thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliosis in the adult population, and avoids the requirement for applying spinal fixation to the thoracic spine and the pelvis.
thoracolumbar; lumbar; spinal deformity; surgical technique
The terms ‘minimally invasive’ or ‘less invasive surgery’ have been used recently to describe surgical approaches or operations that are performed with less trauma to anatomical structures on the way to or surrounding the surgical ‘target area’. These types of surgical procedures are usually performed with the help of ‘high-tech’ instruments such as surgical endoscopes or surgical microscopes, modern video techniques and automated instruments. Within the last 10 years, such techniques have been developed in the field of spinal surgery. The application of minimally or less invasive procedures has concentrated predominantly on anterior approaches to the thoracic and lumbar spine. This article describes two anterior approach techniques for performing anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) through a minimally invasive retroperitoneal or transperitoneal approach. The technical principles are microsurgical modifications of traditional anterior approaches to the lumbar spine. Through small (4-cm) skin incisions, the target area can be exposed. Preliminary results suggest decreased peri - and postoperative morbidity, less blood loss, earlier rehabilitation and acceptable complication rates. The technique is currently used by the author for all patients requiring anterior lumbar interbody fusion.
Key words Microsurgery; Lumbar spine; Mini ALIF; Anterior lumbar interbody fusion
Both endoscopic lumbar spinal surgery and the non-standardized and unstable retractor systems for the lumbar spine presently on the market have disadvantages and limitations in relation to the minimally invasive surgical concept, which have been gradually recognized in the last few years. In an attempt to resolve some of these issues, we have developed a highly versatile retractor system, which allows access to and surgery at the lumbar, thoracic and even cervical spine. This retractor system – Synframe – is based on a ring concept allowing 360° access to a surgical opening in anterior as well as posterior surgery. The ring is concentrically laid over the surgical opening for the approach and is used as a carrier for retractor arms, which are instrumented with either different sizes or types of blades and/or different sizes of Hohmann hooks. In posterior surgery, nerve root retractors can also be installed. This ring also functions as a carrier for fiberoptic illumination devices and different sizes of endoscopes, used to transmit the surgical procedure out of the depth of the surgical exposure for both teaching purposes and for the surgical team when it has no longer direct visual access to the procedure. The ring is stable, being fixed onto the operating table, allowing precise minimally open approaches and surgical procedures under direct vision with optimal illumination. This ring system also opens perspectives for an integrated minimally open surgical concept, where the ring may be used as a reference platform in computer-navigated surgery.
Key words Minimally invasive ¶surgery; Spine surgery; Laparoscopy; Lumbar spinal fusion; Lumbar disc surgery
Spinal fusion is the most rapidly increasing type of lumbar spine surgery for various lumbar degenerative pathologies. The surgical treatment of lumbar spine degenerative disc disease may involve decompression, stabilization, or arthroplasty procedures. Lumbar disc athroplasty is a recent technological advance in the field of lumbar surgery. This study seeks to determine the clinical impact of anterior lumbar disc replacement on the surgical treatment of lumbar spine degenerative pathology. This is a retrospective assessment of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS).
The NIS was searched for ICD-9 codes for lumbar and lumbosacral fusion (81.06), anterior lumbar interbody fusion (81.07), and posterolateral lumbar fusion (81.08), as well as for procedure codes for revision fusion surgery in the lumbar and lumbosacral spine (81.36, 81.37, and 81.38). To assess lumbar arthroplasty, procedure codes for the insertion or replacement of lumbar artificial discs (84.60, 84.65, and 84.68) were queried. Results were assayed from 2000 through 2008, the last year with available data. Analysis was done using the lme4 package in the R programming language for statistical computing.
A total of nearly 300,000 lumbar spine fusion procedures were reported in the NIS database from 2000 to 2008; assuming a representative cross-section of the US health care market, this models approximately 1.5 million procedures performed over this time period. In 2005, the first year of its widespread use, there were 911 lumbar arthroplasty procedures performed, representing 3% of posterolateral fusions performed in this year. Since introduction, the number of lumbar spine arthroplasty procedures has consistently declined, to 653 total procedures recorded in the NIS in 2008. From 2005 to 2008, lumbar arthroplasties comprised approximately 2% of lumbar posterolateral fusions. Arthroplasty patients were younger than posterior lumbar fusion patients (42.8 ± 11.5 vs. 55.9 ± 15.1 years, P < 0.0000001). The distribution of arthroplasty procedures was even between academic and private urban facilities (48.5% and 48.9%, respectively). While rates of posterolateral lumbar spine fusion steadily grew during the period (OR 1.06, 95% CI: 1.05-1.06, P < 0.0000001), rates of revision surgery and anterior spinal fusion remained static.
The impact of lumbar arthroplasty procedures has been minimal. Measured as a percentage of more common lumbar posterior arthrodesis procedures, lumbar arthroplasty comprises only approximately 2% of lumbar spine surgeries performed in the United States. Over the first 4 years following the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the frequency of lumbar disc arthroplasty has decreased while the number of all lumbar spinal fusions has increased.
Artificial disc; lumbar spinal fusion; total disc replacement
A retrospective preliminary study was undertaken of combined minimally invasive instrumented lumbar fusion utilizing the BERG (balloon-assisted endoscopic retroperitoneal gasless) approach ¶anteriorly, and a posterior small-incision approach with translaminar screw fixation and posterolateral ¶fusion. The study aimed to quantify the clinical and radiological results using this combined technique. The traditional minimally invasive approach to the anterior lumbar spine involves gas insufflation and provides reliable access only to L5-S1 and in some cases L4-5. A gas-mediated approach yields many technical drawbacks to performing spinal surgery. A minimally invasive posterior approach involving suprafascial pedicle screw instrumentation has been developed, but without widespread use. Translaminar facet fixation may be a viable alternative to transpedicular fixation in a 360° instrumented fusion model. Past studies have shown open 360° instrumented lumbar fusion yields high arthrodesis rates. The study examined the cases of 46 patients who underwent successful 360° instrumented lumbar fusion using a combined minimally invasive approach. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) at one or two levels was performed through the BERG approach; a gasless retroperitoneal approach to the lumbar spine allowing the use ¶of standard anterior instrumentation. Posteriorly, all patients underwent successful decompression, translaminar fixation, and posterolateral fusion at one or two levels through ¶one small (2.5–5.0 cm) incision. Results showed mean hospital stay of 2.02 days; mean combined blood loss was 255 cc; and mean pain relief was 56%, with 75.5% of patients reporting good, excellent, or total pain relief. Forty-two of 46 patients (93.2%) achieved a solid fusion ¶24 months after surgery. A total of 47% of all patients working prior to surgery returned to work following surgery. The study showed that minimally invasive 360° instrumented lumbar fusion, when performed utilizing these approaches, yields a high rate of solid arthrodesis (93.3%), good pain relief, short hospital stays, low blood losses, accelerated rehabilitation, and a quick return to the workforce. The BERG approach offers technical advantages over the traditional gas-mediated laparoscopic approach to the anterior lumbar spine.
Key words Minimally Invasive; 360° lumbar fusion; Combined ¶anteroposterior; Gasless endoscopy; Translaminar fixation
The early experience with thoracoscopy in children has involved the diagnosis and treatment of pleural and pulmonary diseases. Recent advances have allowed surgeons to perform more complex procedures through video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), potentially decreasing the pain and pulmonary impairment associated with an open thoracotomy. The authors report their initial experience with thoracoscopic assisted anterior spinal exposure and release as part of the treatment for children with spinal deformities.
A retrospective chart review of five children who underwent VATS for anterior spinal surgery between June 1995 and January 1997 was performed.
The ages of the patients ranged from 11 to 16 years with a mean of 13.4 years. All patients had an anterior spinal release with or without fusion and same-day posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation. VATS was successfully completed in all patients without major morbidity and no mortality. The average operative time for the anterior portion of the procedure was 305 minutes, and a mean of 7 disc levels were released. Mean length of chest tube drainage and hospitalization were 6.8 and 8.6 days, respectively.
The objectives of anterior exposure for spinal surgery in children can safely and effectively be accomplished using minimally invasive surgery.
Thoracoscopy; Scoliosis; Thoracic spine; Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
A retrospective study.
To determine the feasibility and effectiveness of revisional percutaneous full endoscopic discectomy for recurrent herniation after conventional open disc surgery.
Overview of the Literature
Repeated open discectomy with or without fusion has been the most common procedure for recurrent lumbar disc herniation. Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy for recurrent herniation has been thought of as an impossible procedure. Despite good results with open revisional surgery, major problems may be caused by injuries to the posterior stabilized structures. Our team did revisional full endoscopic lumbar disc surgery on the basis of our experience doing primary full endoscopic disc surgery.
Between February 2004 and August 2009 a total of 41 patients in our hospital underwent revisional percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy using a YESS endoscopic system and a micro-osteotome (designed by the authors). Indications for surgery were recurrent disc herniation following conventional open discectomy; with compression of the nerve root revealed by Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging; corresponding radiating pain which was not alleviated after conservative management over 6 weeks. Patients with severe neurologic deficits and isolated back pain were excluded.
The mean follow-up period was 16 months (range, 13 to 42 months). The visual analog scale for pain in the leg and back showed significant post-treatment improvement (p < 0.001). Based on a modified version of MacNab's criteria, 90.2% showed excellent or good outcomes. There was no measurable blood loss. There were two cases of recurrence of and four cases with complications.
Percutaneous full-endoscopic revisional disc surgery without additional structural damage is feasible and effective in terms of there being less chance of fusion and bleeding. This technique can be an alternative to conventional repeated discectomy.
Endoscopic discectomy; Interlaminar discectomy; Transforaminal discectomy; Percutaneous discectomy; Recurrent disc herniation; Lumbar spine
Degenerative spinal stenosis and instability requiring multilevel spine surgery has been associated with large blood losses. Factors that affect perioperative blood loss include time of surgery, surgical procedure, patient height, combined anterior/posterior approaches, number of levels fused, blood salvage techniques, and the use of anti-fibrinolytic medications. This study was done to evaluate the efficacy of tranexamic acid in reducing blood loss in spine surgery.
This retrospective case control study includes 97 patients who had to undergo surgery because of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis and instability. All operations included spinal decompression, interbody fusion and posterior instrumentation (4-5 segments). Forty-six patients received 1 g tranexamic acid intravenous, preoperative and six hours and twelve hours postoperative; 51 patients without tranexamic acid administration were evaluated as a control group. Based on the records, the intra- and postoperative blood losses were measured by evaluating the drainage and cell saver systems 6, 12 and 24 hours post operation. Additionally, hemoglobin concentration and platelet concentration were reviewed. Furthermore, the number of red cell transfusions given and complications associated with tranexamic acid were assessed.
The postoperative hemoglobin concentration demonstrated a statistically significant difference with a p value of 0.0130 showing superiority for tranexamic acid use (tranexamic acid group: 11.08 g/dl, SD: 1.68; control group: 10.29 g/dl, SD: 1.39). The intraoperative cell saver volume and drainage volume after 24 h demonstrated a significant difference as well, which indicates a less blood loss in the tranexamic acid group than the control group. The postoperative drainage volume at12 hours showed no significant differences; nor did the platelet concentration Allogenic blood transfusion (two red cell units) was needed for eight patients in the tranexamic acid group and nine in the control group because of postoperative anemia. Complications associated with the administration of tranexamic acid, e.g. renal failure, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism did not occur.
This study suggests a less blood loss when administering tranexamic acid in posterior lumbar spine surgery as demonstrated by the higher postoperative hemoglobin concentration and the less blood loss. But given the relatively small volume of blood loss in the patients of this study it is underpowered to show a difference in transfusion rates.
It has been widely reported a vascular and neurologic damage of the lumbar muscles produced in the classic posterior approach for lumbar spinal fusions. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate a better clinical and functional outcome in the postoperative and short term in patients undergoing minimal invasive surgery (“mini-open”) for this lumbar spinal arthrodesis. We designed a prospective study with a 30 individuals cohort randomized in two groups, depending on the approach performed to get a instrumented lumbar circumferential arthrodesis: “classic posterior” (CL group) or “mini-open” approach (MO group). Several clinical and functional parameters were assessed, including blood loss, postoperative pain, analgesic requirements and daily life activities during hospital stay and at the 3-month follow-up. Patients of the “mini-open approach” group had a significant lower blood loss and hospital stay during admission. They also had significant lower analgesic requirements and faster recovery of daily life activities (specially moderate efforts) when compared to the patients of the “classic posterior approach” group. No significant differences were found between two groups in surgery timing, X-rays exposure or sciatic postoperative pain. This study, inline with previous investigations, reinforces the concept of minimizing the muscular lumbar damage with a mini-open approach for a faster and better recovery of patients’ disability in the short term. Further investigations are necessary to confirm these findings in the long term, and to verify the achievement of a stable lumbar spinal fusion.
Mini-invasive; Surgery; Lumbar fusion; Discopathy; Arthrodesis
One of the downsides of spinal correction surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the cessation of spinal longitudinal growth within the fused levels in growing children. However, the surgery itself has the potential to increase spinal longitudinal length by correcting the curvature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between curve correction and increased spinal longitudinal length by corrective surgery for AIS.
This study included 208 consecutive patients (14 male, 194 female) with AIS who underwent posterior or anterior correction and fusion surgeries. Mean age at the time of surgery was 15.7 ± 3.3 years (range 10–20 years). Patients with hyperkyphosis of more than 40° were excluded. All patients had main curves in the thoracic spine (Lenke type 1 or 2). Forty-three patients underwent anterior spinal correction and fusion (ASF) and 164 underwent posterior spinal correction and fusion (PSF). The mean preoperative height was 154.7 ± 6.9 cm (range 133–173 cm). Pre and postoperative PA standing X-ray films were used to measure the Cobb angle and spinal length between the end vertebrae of the main thoracic curve, and between T1 and L5. The patients were divided into ASF and PSF groups, within which correlations between the Cobb angle correction and spinal length increase were evaluated.
In the ASF group, the mean preoperative Cobb angle of the main thoracic curve was 54.9 ± 8.3° (range 41–83°) and it was corrected to 19.7 ± 9.5° (range 0–47°) with a mean correction of 35.2 ± 11.1° (range 10–74°) after surgery. The mean increase in the length of the main thoracic curve was 1.5 ± 4.6 mm (range −8 to 13 mm), and the mean increase in T1–L5 length was 16.6 ± 7.7 mm (range −3 to 51 mm). Significant correlation between the correction of the Cobb angle and increase in T1–L5 length was observed, with a correlation coefficient of 0.44. In the PSF group, the mean preoperative Cobb angle of the main thoracic curve was 58.8 ± 11.6° (range 36–107°) and it was corrected to 17.1 ± 7.6° (range 10–49°), with a mean correction of 41.7 ± 10.2° (range 21–73°) after surgery. The mean increase in the length of the main thoracic curve was 14.0 ± 5.2 mm (range 0–42 mm), and the mean increase in T1–L5 length was 32.4 ± 10.8 mm (10–61 mm). Correlation between the correction of the Cobb angle and increase in T1–L5 length was high, with a correlation coefficient of 0.64. The increase in T1–L5 length could be calculated by the following formula based on linear regression analysis: increase in T1–L5 length (mm) = correction of the Cobb angle (º) × 0.77.
Spinal longitudinal length was significantly increased after surgery in both the ASF and PSF groups. Correction of the Cobb angle and increase in T1–L5 length were highly correlated with each other, especially in the PSF group.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Posterior correction with fusion surgery; Anterior correction with fusion surgery; Spinal length
Retroperitoneal videoscopic spine surgery has been developed in our department since 1994. It has been used not only at the lumbar, but also at the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral level. Thirty-eight patients have been operated on. We have performed 12 thoracolumbar approaches, 23 lumbar approaches, and 3 retroperitoneal lumbosacral approaches. In every case, a video-assisted technique has been employed. These techniques have been used for anterior grafting in 18 cases of fracture, for corporectomy and grafting with or without anterior osteosynthesis in 6 cases of malunion, for cage implantation or isolated grafting in ¶10 cases of degenerative disc disease, and for the treatment of 4 cases of spondylodiscitis. Results were satisfactory for every type of pathology. The complications related to the approach were the same as those seen with open surgery; however, the videoscopic approach seems to us less invasive, with cosmetic benefit, less blood loss, and more rapid recovery. A video-assisted technique appears to be a good compromise between videoscopic technique and open surgery. With the development of these techniques, few indications remain for open anterior surgery on the lumbar spine in our opinion.
Key words Videoscopy; Retroperitoneoscopy; Endoscopic surgery; Lumbar spine; Lumbar ¶approach; Arthrodesis
Laminoplasty for thoracic and lumbar spine surgery enables surgeons to preserve the posterior arch of the spine while preventing invasion of hematoma and scar tissue, postoperative instability, subluxation, and kyphotic deformities. The authors have developed a new surgical technique: namely, transverse placement laminoplasty (TPL) using titanium miniplates. Eight patients and 18 laminae underwent TPL using a titanium mini-plate. The preoperative diagnoses were six intradural tumors, one ossification of a yellow ligament and one spontaneous spinal cord herniation. The mean blood loss was 219 g and the mean duration of surgery was 3 h and 54 min. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 2 years and 1 month. All eight patients started to sit with a soft brace within the second postoperative day, and were able to walk within the fifth postoperative day. There were no cases of spinal deformity, an invasion of hematoma or scar tissue into the spinal canal on magnetic resonance imaging, or back pain. TPL simultaneously enables surgeons to obtain sufficient field of vision and rigid early fixation of the reduced lamina at the time of surgery. Moreover, our novel technique also simplifies the postoperative treatment, while preserving the posterior arch of the spine, and also preventing an invasion of a hematoma and scar tissue, postoperative instability, subluxation, and kyphotic deformities.
Laminoplasty; Thoracic and lumbar lesion; Intradural tumor
Chronic spinal disc disease leads to disorders in postural movement coordination. An incorrect asymmetrical movement pattern for the lower limbs loading impairs proprioception and deteriorates postural stability, particularly when the vision is occluded. The standard surgical treatment improves biomechanical conditions in the lumbar spine, reduces pain, yet does it reduce the stability deficit in the upright position? An answer to the latter question would help work out targeted therapy to improve postural stability. We hypothesized that the standard surgical treatment would improve postural stability reflected by decreased sway variability accounting for better use of proprioceptive inputs postoperatively. Thirty-nine patients with lumbar disc herniation participated in the study. Their postural sway was recorded in anterior/posterior and medial/lateral planes with their eyes open or closed (EC) before and after surgery. The variability, range, mean velocity of the recorded time series and the area of the ellipse enclosed by the statokinesiogram were used as measures of postural stability. Preoperatively, EC condition resulted in an increased variability and mean velocity of postural sway, while postoperatively it caused an increase in sway mean velocity and sway area only with no effect on sway variability and range. The comparison of the balance before and after the surgery in the EC condition showed significant decrease in all parameters. In the early postoperative period, the patients recover the ability to control their postural sway in EC within normal limits, however, at the expense of significantly increased frequency of corrective torques. It is probably a transient short-term strategy needed to compensate for the recovery phase when the normal weighting factors for all afferents are being reestablished. We propose that this transient postoperative period may be the best timing of therapeutic intervention targeted at facilitating and reinforcing the acquisition of correct motor patterns.
Postural control; Postural balance; Lumbar disc herniation; Surgical treatment
Translaminar screw fixation of the lumbar spine represents a simple and effective technique for short segment fusion in the degenerative spine. Clinical experience with 173 patients who underwent translaminar screw fixation revealed a fusion rate of 94%. The indications for translaminar screw fixation as a primary fixation procedure are: segmental dysfunction, lumbar spinal stenosis with painful degenerative changes, segmental revision surgery after discectomies, and painful disc-related syndromes such as internal disc disruption and lumbar disc herniation with concomitant degenerative changes. As an additional stabilization procedure, translaminar screws can be used to augment anterior fusion or reinforce pedicle systems. Translaminar screw fixation achieves as high fusion rate provided the biomechanical principles of the lumbar spine with an intact anterior column are respected and a meticulous operative technique is employed to enhance bony ingrowth of the graft.
Key words Translaminar screw; fixation; Lumbar spine; Posterior; fusion; Indications
Existing studies on micro-endoscopic lumbar discectomy report similar outcomes to those of open and microdiscectomy and conflicting results on complications. We designed a randomised controlled trial to investigate the hypothesis of different outcomes and complications obtainable with the three techniques. 240 patients aged 18–65 years affected by posterior lumbar disc herniation and symptoms lasting over 6 weeks of conservative management were randomised to micro-endoscopic (group 1), micro (group 2) or open (group 3) discectomy. Exclusion criteria were less than 6 weeks of pain duration, cauda equina compromise, foraminal or extra-foraminal herniations, spinal stenosis, malignancy, previous spinal surgery, spinal deformity, concurrent infection and rheumatic disease. Surgery and follow-up were made at a single Institution. A biomedical researcher independently collected and reviewed the data. ODI, back and leg VAS and SF-36 were the outcome measures used preoperatively, postoperatively and at 6-, 12- and 24-month follow-up. 212/240 (91%) patients completed the 24-month follow-up period. VAS back and leg, ODI and SF36 scores showed clinically and statistically significant improvements within groups without significant difference among groups throughout follow-up. Dural tears, root injuries and recurrent herniations were significantly more common in group 1. Wound infections were similar in group 2 and 3, but did not affect patients in group 1. Overall costs were significantly higher in group 1 and lower in group 3. In conclusion, outcome measures are equivalent 2 years following lumbar discectomy with micro-endoscopy, microscopy or open technique, but severe complications are more likely and costs higher with micro-endoscopy.
Lumbar disc herniation; Discectomy; Microdiscectomy; Micro-endoscopic discectomy
The lateral transpsoas approach to the lumbar spine was developed to eliminate the need for an anterior-approach surgeon and retraction of the great vessels and has the potential for shorter operative times. However, the reported complications associated with this approach vary.
We identified the incidence of complications associated with the lateral transpsoas approach to the lumbar spine.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed 45 patients who underwent a lateral transpsoas approach to the spine for various diagnoses between January 1, 2006, and October 31, 2010. The patients’ average age was 63.3 years. Sixteen (35.6%) patients had prior lumbar spinal surgery. Twenty-one patients (46.7%) underwent supplemental posterior instrumentation. Minimum followup was 0 months (mean, 11 months; range, 0–34 months).
Eighteen of the 45 patients (40%) had complications: 10 (22.2%) developed postoperative iliopsoas weakness, three had quadriceps weakness, and one experienced foot drop. Eight patients (17.8%) developed anterior thigh hypoesthesia, which did not fully resolve in seven of the eight patients at an average of 9 months’ followup. Three patients had postoperative radiculopathies, one a durotomy, and one died postoperatively from a pulmonary embolism.
We found a 40% incidence of complications and a nontrivial frequency and severity of postoperative weakness, numbness, and radicular pain in patients who underwent a lateral transpsoas approach to the spine. Given the expanding use of the approach, a thorough understanding of the risks associated with it is essential for patient education, medical decision making, and identifying methods of reducing such complications.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Interbody lumbar fusions provide a proven logical solution to diseases of the intervertebral discs by eliminating motion of the segment. Historically, there are many techniques to achieve spinal fusion in the lumbar spine. These include anterior, posterior, and foramenal approaches, often in combination with various internal fixation devices. The surgeon's choice of the approach and mechanical or biological implant is dependent on the patient's specific pathology and anatomy, in addition to the experience and training of the surgeon in similar conditions. In the past decade, new mechanical spine implants/spacers have been designed to provide restoration of disc height and improve stabilization of the spine. The ability to radiographically assess the "biology" of bone incorporation in these mechanical (metal) spacers has become a significant limitation.
The femoral ring allograft (FRA) and the posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) spacers have been developed as "biological cages" that permit restoration of the anterior column with machined allograft bone biological cages. Test results demonstrate that the FRA and PLIF spacers have a compressive strength of over 25,000 N. The pyramid-shaped teeth on the surfaces and the geometry of the implant increase the resistance to expulsion at clinically relevant loads (1053 and 1236 N). The technique of anterior column reconstruction with both the FRA and the PLIF biological cages have been previously reported.
Clinical outcomes and experience with the FRA spacer (137 patients) and the PLIF spacer (13 patients) were reported on and did not reveal any evidence of bone cage resorption or infectious inflammatory process. There was clinical migration with one PLIF spacer, which was later revised with an anterior approach and a FRA spacer. The radiographic outcomes demonstrated that 94% arthrodesis was achieved with the biological spacer and additional posterior instrumentation. The clinical success of every spine fusion procedure is dependent on many factors such as the extent of the instability, the pathology, type of graft used, the patient's pathology/anatomy and lifestyle.
Biological cages Femoral ring allograft spacer Posterior lumbar interbody fusion spacer Interbody lumbar fusion Arthrodesis
A retrospective study.
An en bloc partial laminectomy and posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) in spinal stenosis patients with severe foraminal narrowing has a shorter operation time, less neural manipulation and allows indirect decompression by restoring the interforaminal height compared to other procedures. This study investigated the efficacy of the procedure.
Overview of Literature
PLIF is one of the most popular surgery for degenerative spine such as foraminal spinal stenosis, instability spondylolisthesis and discogenic pain. Various techniques for PLIF have their own advantages and disadvantages. But in some severe cases, we need an efficient method of PLIF for decompression and fusion.
This study examined 61 patients, who had 85 levels treated with PLIF using an en bloc partial laminectomy and facetectomy, and could be followed up for more than 2 years. The mean age of the patients and mean follow up period was 66 years and 39 months, respectively. The clinical results were evaluated using the MacNab's criteria, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score, and Korea Version Oswestry Disability Index (KODI). The union of the intervertebral space was evaluated using Lenke's criteria. The intervertebral angle and height of the posterior intervertebral disc were also measured.
Excellent and good results were obtained in 54 cases (89%) according to MacNab's criteria. The VAS and KODI scores were 8.1 and 34.6, preoperatively, and 3.4, and 14.1, postoperatively. Bone union was A and B grades according to Lenke's criteria in 57 cases. The mean segmental angle and mean height of the posterior disc were respectively, 7.4° and 6.5 mm preoperatively, 9.1° and 10.6 mm postoperatively, and 8.0° and 9.7 mm in the last follow-up. There were 5 cases of postoperative infection, 4 cases of junctional problems and 1 case of screw malposition.
En bloc partial laminectomy and PLIF is an effective method for treating severe spinal stenosis with foraminal narrowing.
Lumbar vertebra; Spinal stenosis; Laminectomy; Posterior lumbar interbody fusion
Lumbar fusion is commonly performed to alleviate chronic low back and leg pain secondary to disc degeneration, spondylolisthesis with or without concomitant lumbar spinal stenosis, or chronic lumbar instability. However, the risk of iatrogenic injury during traditional anterior, posterior, and transforaminal open fusion surgery is significant. The axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF) system is a minimally invasive fusion device that accesses the lumbar (L4–S1) intervertebral disc spaces via a reproducible presacral approach that avoids critical neurovascular and musculoligamentous structures. Since the AxiaLIF system received marketing clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2004, clinical studies of this device have reported high fusion rates without implant subsidence, significant improvements in pain and function, and low complication rates. This paper describes the design and approach of this lumbar fusion system, details the indications for use, and summarizes the clinical experience with the AxiaLIF system to date.
AxiaLIF; fusion; lumbar; minimally invasive; presacral
Fusion and rigid instrumentation have been currently the mainstay for the surgical treatment of degenerative diseases of the spine over the last 4 decades. In all over the world the common experience was formed about fusion surgery. Satisfactory results of lumbar spinal fusion appeared completely incompatible and unfavorable within years. Rigid spinal implants along with fusion cause increased stresses of the adjacent segments and have some important disadvantages such as donor site morbidity including pain, wound problems, infections because of longer operating time, pseudarthrosis, and fatigue failure of implants. Alternative spinal implants were developed with time on unsatisfactory outcomes of rigid internal fixation along with fusion. Motion preservation devices which include both anterior and posterior dynamic stabilization are designed and used especially in the last two decades. This paper evaluates the dynamic stabilization of the lumbar spine and talks about chronologically some novel dynamic stabilization devices and thier efficacies.
Hydroxyapatite- (HA-)based ceramics have been evaluated for a variety of applications in spinal surgery, utilizing in vivo animal models and human clinical series. In vivo animal studies have shown efficacy for these materials as a bone graft substitute in interbody fusions and as a bone graft extender or bioactive osteoinductive material carrier in posterolateral lumbar fusions. Clinically, HA ceramic has been shown to be effective as a bone graft extender in posterior spinal fusion surgery for childhood scoliosis, and as a structural bone graft substitute in anterior cervical spine fusions. As an osteoconductive material, it appears to function best as a bone graft extender or carrier for an osteoinductive bone growth factor rather than as a stand-alone bone graft substitute in nonstructural clinical applications. Injectable HA ceramics also hold promise as biocompatible and bioresorbable materials for use in spinal screw fixation strength augmentation and in minimally invasive vertebral body strength augmentation either following fracture or prophylactically in osteoporotic vertebrae.
Hydroxyapatite Spinal fusion Bone morphogenetic protein carrier Vertebroplasty
In 65 consecutive cases of trauma (n=55), pseudo-arthrosis (n=4) and metastasis (n=6), anterior reconstruction of the thoracic and lumbar spine was performed using a new minimal invasive but open access procedure. No operation had to be changed into an open procedure. The thoracolumbar junction was approached by a left-sided mini-thoracotomy (n=50), the thoracic spine by a right-sided mini-thoracotomy (n=8) and the lumbar spine by a left sided mini-retroperitoneal approach (n=7), using a new table-mounted retractor system called SynFrame (Stratec Medical, Switzerland). The anterior column was reconstructed using a variety of materials: autologous tricortical crest (n=11), autologous spongiosa (n=12), allografts (n=4) and cages (n=38). The mean overall operating time was 170 min (range 90–295 min); the time of surgery varied, depending on the spine pathology and the magnitude of the intervention in the anterior part of the spine. Mean overall blood loss was 912 ml, and only 7 out of the 65 patients needed blood transfusions. There were neither intra- nor postoperative complications related to the minimal access in particular, nor visceral/vascular complications. No intercostal neuralgia, no post-thoracotomy pain syndromes, no superficial or deep wound infections and no deep venous thromboses occurred. Four cases of pseudo-obstruction were treated conservatively. In this study, we describe the new minimal access technology to the anterior part of the thoracal and lumbar spine on the basis of 65 cases completed within 1 year. This open, but minimal invasive, access technology offers, in our view, additional advantages to the "pure" endoscopic procedures of spinal surgery.
Minimal invasive spine surgery Reconstruction Anterior column Retractor
The use of transperitoneal endoscopic approaches to the distal segments of the lumbar spine has recently been described. This has been the catalyst for the development of other minimally invasive anterior ¶approaches to the spine. This review looks at the published results so ¶far, and highlights the principles, techniques and complications. The limitations of laparoscopic approaches have meant that surgeons are moving on to endoscopic extraperitoneal and mini-open approaches, but important lessons ¶have been learnt during this short rapid phase of development. The efficacy and safety of minimal access techniques in the spine have been ¶established, and outcome standards set by which future techniques can ¶be judged. The importance of ¶proper training is emphasised.
Key words Laparoscopy; Anterior fusion; Lumbar spine; Minimally invasive spine surgery; Review