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
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
The study design included a case report of Charcot spinal arthropathy treated with posterior and anterior spinal instrumentation. The objective of the study was to report an unusual case of Charcot spinal arthropathy as a late complication of traumatic spinal cord injury in a patient previously treated with a long posterior thoraco-lumbar instrumentation and postero-lateral fusion. A 33-year-old man with T10–T11 complete paraplegia presented with focal low back pain, kyphotic deformity of the lumbar region with L2–L3 fracture–dislocation and hardware failure. Our treatment consisted of a circumferential arthrodesis performed with a combined anterior and posterior approach. Spinal stabilization was achieved and the patient was pain free and able to resume a sitting posture. This report suggests that the development of a Charcot spine arthropathy must always be considered as a late complication of a spinal cord injury. Moreover, we would emphasize the fundamental role of a strict clinical and radiological follow-up in order to detect an early Charcot spine complication.
Spinal cord injury; Arthrodesis; Charcot spine; Vertebral fracture
We report Ogilvie's syndrome following posterior spinal arthrodesis on a patient with thoracic and lumbar scoliosis associated with intraspinal anomalies. Postoperative paralytic ileus can commonly complicate scoliosis surgery. Ogilvie's syndrome as a cause of abdominal distension and pain has not been reported following spinal deformity correction and can mimic post-surgical ileus. 12 year old female patient with double thoracic and lumbar scoliosis associated with Arnold-Chiari 1 malformation and syringomyelia. The patient underwent posterior spinal fusion from T4 to L3 with segmental pedicle screw instrumentation and autogenous iliac crest grafting. She developed abdominal distension and pain postoperatively and this deteriorated despite conservative management. Repeat ultrasounds and abdominal computer tomography scans ruled out mechanical obstruction. The clinical presentation and blood parameters excluded toxic megacolon and cecal volvulus. As the symptoms persisted, a laparotomy was performed on postoperative day 16, which demonstrated ragged tears of the colon and cecum. A right hemi-colectomy followed by ileocecal anastomosis was required. The pathological examination of surgical specimens excluded inflammatory bowel disease and vascular abnormalities. The patient made a good recovery following bowel surgery and at latest followup 3.2 years later she had no abdominal complaints and an excellent scoliosis correction. Ogilvie's syndrome should be included in the differential diagnosis of postoperative ileus in patients developing prolonged unexplained abdominal distension and pain after scoliosis correction. Early diagnosis and instigation of conservative management can prevent major morbidity and mortality due to bowel ischemia and perforation.
Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction; ileus; Ogilvie's syndrome; posterior spinal fusion; scoliosis
Lumbar stenosis is a well-defined pathologic condition with excellent surgical outcomes. Empiric evidence as well as randomized, prospective trials has demonstrated the superior efficacy of surgery compared to medical management for lumbar stenosis. Traditionally, lumbar stenosis is decompressed with open laminectomies. This involves removal of the spinous process, lamina, and the posterior musculoligamentous complex (posterior tension band). This approach provides excellent improvement in symptoms, but is also associated with potential postoperative spinal instability. This may result in subsequent need for spinal fusion. Advances in technology have enabled the application of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) as an acceptable alternative to open lumbar decompression. Recent studies have shown similar to improved perioperative outcomes when comparing MISS to open decompression for lumbar stenosis. A literature review of MISS for decompression of lumbar stenosis with tubular retractors was performed to evaluate the outcomes of this modern surgical technique. In addition, a discussion of the advantages and limitations of this technique is provided.
The purpose of this study was to present our experience in treating dorso-lumbar tuberculosis by one-stage posterior circumferential fusion and to compare this group with a historical group treated by anterior debridement followed by postero-lateral fusion and stabilization.
Between 2003 and 2008, 32 patients with active spinal tuberculosis were treated by one-stage posterior circumferential fusion and prospectively followed for a minimum of two years. Pain severity was measured using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Neurological assessment was done using the Frankel scale. The operative data, clinical, radiological, and functional outcomes were also compared to a similar group of 25 patients treated with anterior debridement and fusion, followed 10–14 days later by posterior stabilization and postero-lateral fusion.
The mean operative time and duration of hospital stay were significantly longer in the two-stage group. The mean estimated blood loss was also larger, though insignificantly, in the two-stage group. The incidence of complications was significantly lower in the one-stage group. At final follow-up, all 34 patients with pre-operative neurological deficits showed at least one Frankel grade of neurological improvement, all 57 patients showed significant improvement of their VAS back pain score, the mean kyphotic angle has significantly improved, all patients achieved solid fusion and 43 (75.4%) patients returned to their pre-disease activity level or work.
Instrumented circumferential fusion, whether in one or two stages, is an effective treatment for dorso-lumbar tuberculosis. One-stage surgery, however, is advantageous because it has lower complication rate, shorter hospital stay, less operative time and blood loss.
There is great debate about the costs and benefits of technology-driven medical interventions such as instrumented lumbar fusion. With most analyses using charge data, the actual costs incurred by medical institutions performing these procedures are not well understood. The object of the current study was to examine the differences in hospital operating costs between open and minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) during the perioperative period.
Data were collected in the form of a prospective registry from a community hospital after specific Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. The analysis included consecutive adult patients being surgically treated for degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine, with either an MIS or open approach for two-level instrumented lumbar fusion. Patient outcomes and costs were collected for the perioperative period. Hospital operating costs were grouped by hospitalization/operative procedure, transfusions, reoperations, and residual events (health care interactions).
One hundred and one open posterior lumbar interbody fusion (Open group) and 109 MIS patients were treated primarily for stenosis coupled with instability (39.6% and 59.6%, respectively). Mean total hospital costs were $27,055.53 for the Open group and $24,320.16 for the MIS group. This represents a statistically significant cost savings of $2,825.37 (10.4% [95% confidence interval: $522.51–$5,128.23]) when utilizing MIS over traditional Open techniques. Additionally, residual events, complications, and blood transfusions were significantly more frequent in the Open group, compared to the MIS group.
Conclusions/level of evidence
Utilizing minimally invasive techniques for instrumented spinal fusion results in decreased hospital operating costs compared to similar open procedures in the early perioperative period. Additionally, patient benefits of minimally invasive techniques include significantly less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, lower complication rate, and a lower number of residual events. Long-term outcome comparisons are needed to evaluate the efficacy of the two treatments. Level of evidence: III
This work represents a true cost-of-operating comparison between open and MIS approaches for lumbar spine fusion, which has relevance to surgeons, hospitals and payers in medical decision-making.
lumbar; degenerative; complications; MIS; residual events
The purpose of this study was to compare posterior and anterior surgical approach in combination with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation for thoracic and lumbar tuberculosis. These approaches were compared in terms of the operation duration, intraoperative blood loss, bony fusion, intraoperative and postoperative complications, neurological status and the angle of kyphosis.
Forty-seven patients with thoracic and lumbar tuberculosis who underwent either the posterior or the anterior approach in combination with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation from January 2004 to March 2010 were reviewed retrospectively. In group A (n = 25), the posterior approach was combined with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation. In group B (n = 22), the anterior approach was performed in addition to debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation.
All cases were followed up for 12–62 months. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in terms of the operation duration, intraoperative blood loss, bony fusion, intraoperative and postoperative complications, neurological status and the angle of kyphosis (p > 0.05). Good clinical outcomes were achieved in both groups.
The posterior approach combined with debridement, interbody autografting and instrumentation is an alternative procedure to treat thoracic and lumbar tuberculosis. The posterior approach is sufficient for lesion debridement. In addition, the posterior approach can maintain spinal stabilisation and prevent loss of corrected vertebral alignment as effectively as the anterior approach.
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.
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
The focus of this study was to examine the safety and effectiveness of three different discectomy techniques using a posterior approach for the treatment of herniated lumbar discs. There are only a small number of prospective randomised studies comparing posterior lumbar discectomy techniques, and no recent systematic review has been published on this matter. Using the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines, all randomised or “quasi-randomised” clinical trials, comparing classic, microsurgical, and endoscopic lumbar discectomies using a posterior approach were systematically reviewed. No statistically significant differences were found between these techniques regarding improvement in pain, sensory deficits, motor strength, reflexes, and patient satisfaction. Current data suggest that the microsurgical and endoscopic techniques are superior to the classic technique for the treatment of single level lumbar disc herniations with respect to volume of blood loss, systemic repercussions, and duration of hospital stay. All three surgical techniques were found to be effective for the treatment of single level lumbar disc herniations in patients without degenerative vertebral deformities. No conclusions could be drawn from the clinical randomised studies reviewed regarding the safety of the three techniques studied due to insufficient data on postoperative complications.
The aim of this study was to compare our experience with minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MITLIF) and open midline transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). A total of 36 patients suffering from isthmic spondylolisthesis or degenerative disc disease were operated with either a MITLIF (n = 18) or an open TLIF technique (n = 18) with an average follow-up of 22 and 24 months, respectively. Clinical outcome was assessed using the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Oswestry disability index (ODI). There was no difference in length of surgery between the two groups. The MITLIF group resulted in a significant reduction of blood loss and had a shorter length of hospital stay. No difference was observed in postoperative pain, initial analgesia consumption, VAS or ODI between the groups. Three pseudarthroses were observed in the MITLIF group although this was not statistically significant. A steeper learning effect was observed for the MITLIF group.
Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) versus open TLIF, addressing lumbar degenerative disc disease (DDD) or grade I spondylolisthesis (DS), are associated with shorter hospital stays, decreased blood loss, quicker return to work, and equivalent short- and long-term outcomes. However, no prospective study has assessed whether the extent of intraoperative muscle trauma utilizing creatinine phosphokinase levels (CPK) differently impacts long-term outcomes.
Twenty-one patients underwent MIS-TLIF (n = 14) versus open-TLIF (n = 7) for DDD or DS. Serum CPK levels were measured at baseline, and postoperatively (days 1, 7, and 1.5, 3 and 6 months). The correlation between the extent of intraoperative muscle trauma and two-year improvement in functional disability was evaluated (multivariate regression analysis). Additionally, baseline and two-year changes in Visual Analog Scale (VAS)-leg pain (LP), VAS-back pain (BP), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Short-Form-36 (SF-36) Physical Component Score (PCS) and SF-36 Mental Component Score (MCS), and postoperative satisfaction with surgical care were assessed.
Although the mean change from baseline in the serum creatine phosphokinase level on POD 1 was greater for MIS-TLIF (628.07) versus open-TLF (291.42), this did not correlate with lesser two-year improvement in functional disability. Both cohorts also showed similar two-year improvement in VAS-LP, ODI, and SF-36 PCS/MCS.
Increased intraoperative muscle trauma unexpectedly observed in higher postoperative CPK levels for MIS-TLIF versus open-TLIF did not correlate with any differences in two-year improvement in pain and functional disability.
Long-term outcomes; minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; Open-transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; Serum creatine phosphokinase
Abundant data are available for direct anterior/posterior spine fusion (APF) and some for transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), but only few studies from one institution compares the two techniques. One-hundred and thirty-three patients were retrospectively analyzed, 68 having APF and 65 having TLIF. All patients had symptomatic disc degeneration of the lumbar spine. Only those with one or two-level surgeries were included. Clinical chart and radiologic reviews were done, fusion solidity assessed, and functional outcomes determined by pre- and postoperative SF-36 and postoperative Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and a satisfaction questionnaire. The minimum follow-up was 24 months. The mean operating room time and hospital length of stay were less in the TLIF group. The blood loss was slightly less in the TLIF group (409 vs. 480 cc.). Intra-operative complications were higher in the APF group, mostly due to vein lacerations in the anterior retroperitoneal approach. Postoperative complications were higher in the TLIF group due to graft material extruding against the nerve root or wound drainage. The pseudarthrosis rate was statistically equal (APF 17.6% and TLIF 23.1%) and was higher than most published reports. Significant improvements were noted in both groups for the SF-36 questionnaires. The mean ODI scores at follow-up were 33.5 for the APF and 39.5 for the TLIF group. The patient satisfaction rate was equal for the two groups.
Symptomatic lumbar disc degeneration; Anterior–posterior fusion; Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a common cause of radicular and generalized back pain among older adults. Endoscopic minimally invasive surgery, in contrast to open decompression, may provide the opportunity for a less invasive surgical intervention. Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety (operative complications, estimated blood loss, operative room time) and effectiveness (pre- versus postoperative level of disability and pain severity) of minimally invasive surgery using endoscopic laminotomy and foraminotomy among a large sample of patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.
This study is composed of 320 consecutive patients with lumbar spinal stenosis who underwent posterior lumbar laminotomy and foraminotomy between 2008 and 2011. Outcome measures consisted of perioperative complications, estimated blood loss, operative room time, level of disability, and pain severity. Pain severity and level of disability were prospectively analyzed to an average of 18 months (12–36 months) post-surgery.
There was an average estimated blood loss of 39.3 cc and a mean operative room time of 74 min. Seven patients experienced minor operative complications. All patients were discharged the same day as surgery and reported a significantly lower level of disability (p = 0.00) and pain severity (p = 0.00) postoperative compared to preoperative.
Minimally invasive surgery using endoscopy for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis has a short operative time, a low operative complication rate, and minimal estimated blood loss. This study also indicates that MIS for the treatment of LSS can significantly reduce pain and disability level. Thus, minimally invasive surgery using endoscopic laminotomy and foraminotomy appears to be a safe and effective alternative surgical treatment for open decompression surgery in adult patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.
Back pain; Laminotomy; Decompression; Nerve; Spinal cord
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
Spinal fusion historically has been used extensively, and, recently, the lateral transpsoas approach to the thoracic and lumbar spine has become an increasingly common method to achieve fusion. Recent literature on this approach has elucidated its advantage over more traditional anterior and posterior approaches, which include a smaller tissue dissection, potentially lower blood loss, no need for an access surgeon, and a shorter hospital stay. Indications for the procedure have now expanded to include degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, degenerative scoliosis, nonunion, trauma, infection, and low-grade spondylolisthesis. Lateral interbody fusion has a similar if not lower rate of complications compared to traditional anterior and posterior approaches to interbody fusion. However, lateral interbody fusion has unique complications that include transient neurologic symptoms, motor deficits, and neural injuries that range from 1 to 60% in the literature. Additional studies are required to further evaluate and monitor the short- and long-term safety, efficacy, outcomes, and complications of lateral transpsoas procedures.
Minimally invasive surgery has gained popularity over the past several years. Early results have shown better functional outcome with early recovery and rapid rehabilitation.
Evaluation of the short-term clinical and functional outcome of minimally invasive surgery total knee arthroplasty (MIS-TKA) compared with the traditional total knee arthroplasty (TKA).
Materials and Methods:
During 2009, all cases scheduled for primary TKA through the modified mini-mid-vastus approach (MIS group) were studied. This group included 40 knees and was compared to a cohort control group of similar number of patients (40 knees) that underwent the procedure through the standard conventional technique (standard group).
Patients in the MIS group showed significant decrease in postoperative pain, blood loss in first 24 hours, and in hospital stay. Furthermore, they achieved motion considerably faster than the standard group with earlier return of quadriceps function and greater early flexion.
This study proved that MIS-TPA has the ability to couple the benefits of less invasive surgical approach.
Minimally invasive surgery; Total knee arthroplasty; Standard approach in Total knee replacement
Fifty-six patients who underwent anterior fusion utilizing fibular allograft are reviewed. Thirty-two patients underwent multiple-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion utilizing fibular strut allograft, and 24 underwent anterior lumbar discectomy and fusion using fibular strut allograft. Cervical surgery was performed via the strut technique of Whitecloud and LaRocca and lumbar surgery was performed via a transperitoneal or retroperitoneal approach. Postoperatively, patients were assigned a clinical grade based on symptomatic relief and medication usage. X-rays were visually inspected, and quantitatively digitized for Cobb angle and translation in order to assess the status of arthrodesis. In the cervical group, the rate of clinical success (87.5%) exceeded the arthrodesis rate. By inspection, 65% fused, at a mean time of 23.5 months postoperatively. In the lumbar group, the overall clinical success rate was 68%. This correlated quite strongly with a fusion rate of 58%. Smoking was a negative correlate with arthrodesis. Patients receiving Workers' Compensation were also more likely to have an unsatisfactory clinical outcome. The results of this study highlight the difference between anterior arthrodesis in the cervical and lumbar spine. The biomechanical stability afforded by the fibular strut in the cervical spine appears to outweigh the disadvantages of delayed time to union. The rate of posterior cervical fusion to salvage symptomatic pseudoarthrosis was quite low (9.3%), thus suggesting that additional posterior surgery in this particular group of patients should not be considered for a minimum of two years postoperatively. In the lumbar group, status of arthrodesis correlated closely with clinical outcome. Fusion rate in this group was disappointing, corresponding to other reports in the literature. Based on these data, primary anterior body fusion without allograft in the lumbar spine cannot be recommended, as a viable alternative to conventional autograft.
To investigate the effect of omega-3 fatty-acid supplements (n-3FA) on bleeding during posterior spinal arthrodesis.
We reviewed all one- or two-level posterolateral lumbar decompression/fusions with or without interbody fusion by five surgeons within 3 years. Patients taking n-3FA preoperatively were matched 1:2 with controls based on procedure, surgeon and operative time. Patients with abnormal coagulation parameters, known bleeding disorders or other medications that could affect surgical blood loss were excluded.
Twenty-eight patients met inclusion criteria. The n-3FA and control groups were similar with respect to gender, age, body mass index, operative time, and preoperative use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The n-3FAs were stopped an average of 5.2 days before surgery (range 1–10). Mean estimated blood loss (EBL) was 697 ml in the n-3FA group and 771 ml in the control group (p = 0.36). Mean transfused volume of Cell Saver (CS) was 282 ml in the n-3FA group and 321 ml in the control group (p = 0.30). A post hoc power analysis showed that the study was powered to detect a minimum difference of 105 ml for EBL and 50 ml for CS. The multivariate generalized estimating equation did not show a significant difference between groups for EBL or CS (p = 0.35 and p = 0.29, respectively). Secondary outcomes including drop in postoperative hemoglobin, transfusion requirement, complications and surgical drain output were similar between the two groups.
The n-3FA use did not contribute to higher perioperative blood loss during spinal arthrodesis.
Omega-3 fatty acids; Bleeding; Spinal arthrodesis
Despite the fact that C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and white blood cell (WBC) count are routine blood chemistry parameters for the early assessment of wound infection after surgical procedures, little is known about the natural history of their serum values after major and minimally invasive spinal procedures.
Pre- and postoperative CRP serum levels and WBC count in 347 patients were retrospectively assessed after complication-free, single-level open posterior lumbar interlaminar fusion (PLIF) (n = 150) for disc degeneration and spinal stenosis and endoscopically assisted lumbar discectomy (n = 197) for herniated lumbar disc. Confounding variables such as overweight, ASA classification, arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and perioperative antibiotics were recorded to evaluate their influence on the kinetics of CRP values and WBC count postoperatively.
In both procedures, CRP peaked 2–3 days after surgery. The maximum CRP level was significantly higher after fusion: mean 127 (SD 57) (p < 0.001). A rapid fall in CRP within 4–6 days was observed for both groups, with almost normal values being reached after 14 days. Only BMI > 25 and long duration of surgery were associated with higher peak CRP values. WBC count did not show a typical and therefore interpretable profile.
CRP is a predictable and responsive serum parameter in postoperative monitoring of inflammatory responses in patients undergoing spine surgery, whereas WBC kinetics is unspecific. We suggest that CRP could be measured on the day before surgery, on day 2 or 3 after surgery, and also between days 4 and 6, to aid in early detection of infectious complications.
Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) restores disc height, the load bearing ability of anterior ligaments and muscles, root canal dimensions, and spinal balance. It immobilizes the painful degenerate spinal segment and decompresses the nerve roots. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) does the same, but could have complications of graft extrusion, compression and instability contributing to pseudarthrosis in the absence of instrumentation. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the outcome of instrumented circumferential fusion through a posterior approach [PLIF and posterolateral fusion (PLF)] with instrumented ALIF using the Hartshill horseshoe cage, for comparable degrees of internal disc disruption and clinical disability. It was designed as a prospective study, comparing the outcome of two methods of instrumented interbody fusion for internal disc disruption. Between April 1994 and June 1998, the senior author (N.R.B.) performed 39 instrumented ALIF procedures and 35 instrumented circumferential fusion with PLIF procedures. The second author, an independent assessor (S.M.), performed the entire review. Preoperative radiographic assessment included plain radiographs, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and provocative discography in all the patients. The outcome in the two groups was compared in terms of radiological improvement and clinical improvement, measured on the basis of improvement of back pain and work capacity. Preoperatively, patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire giving their demographic details, maximum walking distance and current employment status in order to establish the comparability of the two groups. Patient assessment was with the Oswestry Disability Index, quality of life questionnaire (subjective), pain drawing, visual analogue scale, disability benefit, compensation status, and psychological profile. The results of the study showed a satisfactory outcome (score≤30) on the subjective (quality of life questionnaire) score of 71.8% (28 patients) in the ALIF group and 74.3% (26 patients) in the PLIF group (P>0.05). On categorising Oswestry Index scores into "excellent", "better", "same", and "worse", we found no difference in outcome between the two groups: 79.5% (n=31) had satisfactory outcome with ALIF and 80% (n=28) had satisfactory outcome with PLIF. The rate of return to work was no different in the two groups. On radiological assessment, we found two nonunions in the circumferential fusion (PLIF) group (94.3% fusion rate) and indirect evidence of no nonunions in the ALIF group. There was no significant difference between the compensation rate and disability benefit rate between the two groups. There were three complications in ALIF group and four in the PLIF (circumferential) group. On the basis of these results, we conclude that it is possible to treat discogenic back pain by anterior interbody fusion with Hartshill horseshoe cage or with circumferential fusion using instrumented PLIF.
Disc degeneration; Interbody fusion; Cages
Minimally invasive lumbar spine fusion surgery has gained popularity in recent years. Routinely, this technique requires bilateral parasagittal incisions for decompression, interbody fusion, and posterior instrumentation. The following study is a description of a new minimally invasive technique for one-level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) using a unilateral parasagittal incision (Wiltse approach), with placement of pedicle screws and then a percutaneous transpedicular facet screw insertion on the contralateral side. The biomechanical stability of this posterior construct will be discussed while the efficacy and complications of this technique have been examined.
Forty patients underwent this new technique of one-level TLIF with posterior instrumentation using unilateral pedicle screw fixation supplemented with contralateral percutaneous transpedicular facet screw construct. Data regarding surgical time, estimated blood loss (EBL), hospital length of stay (LOS), and complications related to the posterior instrumentation are recorded.
The average surgical time of this new procedure was 124 minutes; average EBL was 140 cc; average hospital LOS was 3 days. Two patients developed new leg pain on the side where the facet screw had been placed. Both patients had the facet screw removed.
This novel technique of unilateral pedicle screw fixation combined with contralateral percutaneous transpedicular facet screw construct has further reduced the amount of normal tissue injury while maintaining the same biomechanical advantages of bilateral pedicle screw fixation. However, caution is needed during the placement of the percutaneous facet screw in order to avoid nerve root injury.
Minimally invasive spine surgery; percutaneous facet screw; transforaminal interbody fusion; Wiltse approach
Surgical treatment of thoracolumbar osteomyelitis consists of radical debridement, reconstruction of anterior column either with or without posterior stabilization. The objective of present study is to evaluate a case series of patients with osteomyelitis of thoracic and lumbar spine treated by single, posterior approach with posterior instrumentation and anterior column reconstruction.
Seventeen patients underwent clinical and radiological evaluation pre and postoperatively with latest follow-up at 19 months (8–56 months) after surgery. Parameters assessed were site of infection, causative organism, angle of deformity, blood loss, duration of surgery, ICU stay, deformity correction, time to solid bony fusion, ambulatory status, neurologic status (ASIA impairment scale), and functional outcome (Kirkaldy-Willis criteria).
Mean operating time was 207 min and average blood loss 1,150 ml. Patients spent 2 (1–4) days in ICU and were able to walk unaided 1.6 (1–2) days after surgery. Infection receded in all 17 patients postoperatively. Solid bony fusion occurred in 15 out of 17 patients (88 %) on average 6.3 months after surgery. Functional outcome was assessed as excellent or good in 82 % of cases. Average deformity correction was 8 (1–18) degrees, with loss of correction of 4 (0–19) degrees at final follow-up.
Single, posterior approach addressing both columns poses safe alternative in treatment of pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis of thoracic and lumbar spine. It proved to be less invasive resulting in faster postoperative recovery.
Vertebral osteomyelitis; Thoracic spine; Lumbar spine; One-stage surgery; Instrumentation
To evaluate clinical and radiological results of two different fusion techniques in adult low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis.
Between November 2003 and December 2004, 46 consecutive patients underwent instrumented mini-transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (mini-TLIF) (group I) at Wooridul Spine Hospital, Seoul, Korea. Between February 2003 and October 2006, 32 consecutive patients underwent instrumented circumferential fusion (group II) at Leon Wiltse Memorial Hospital, Suwon, Korea. The mean follow-up periods were 29.7 and 26.1 months, respectively.
Mean visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back and leg pain decreased, respectively, from 6.98 and 6.33 to 2.3 and 2.2 in group I and from 7.38 and 6.00 to 1.7 and 1.0 in group II. Mean Oswestry disability index (ODI) improved from 51.85% to 14.4% in group I and from 60% to 9.1% in group II. In both groups, VAS and ODI scores significantly changed from pre- to postoperatively (p<0.001), but postoperative outcome between groups was statistically not significant. Radiologic evidence of fusion was noted in 95.7% and 100% of the patients in group I and II, respectively. In both groups, changes in disc height, segmental lordosis, degree of listhesis, and whole lumbar lordosis between the pre- and postoperative periods were significant except whole lumbar lordosis in both groups.
Clinical and functional outcomes demonstrate no significant differences between groups in treating back and leg pain of adult patients with low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis. However, in terms of operative data (i.e. operation time and hospital stay), instrumented mini-TLIF demonstrated better results.
Low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis; Instrumented transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; Instrumented circumferential