The restoration of disc space height (DSH) is essential in anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), while it is unclear whether the reduction of DSH may alter the mechanical status and adversely affect adjacent segment, and few literatures focused on the subject.
Ninety five patients who had undergone ALIF for degenerative disc disease at our institution between March 2004 and March 2007 were retrospectively reviewed and 76 patients were enrolled in this study. Preoperative, postoperative and the final follow-up segmental lordosis (SL), whole lumbar lordosis (WLL) and DSH were measured and compared in adjacent segmental degeneration (ASD) group and non-ASD group, and the relationship between DSH, SL, WLL and ASD were investigated retrospectively.
In 76 patients, the radiographic ASD was proven in 25 (32.9%) and symptomatic ASD in 2 patients. There was a significant correlation between DSH and SL, but was insignificant between DSH and WLL, and a significant correlation was noticed between ASD and SL, WLL and DSH at final follow-up.
The normal DSH and SL is important for preventing ASD and an anterior cage with appropriate height and lordotic angle to be used in ALIF to maintain the proper DSH and SL.
Adjacent segment degeneration; Anterior lumbar interbody fusion; Disc space height; Segmental lordosis; Whole lumbar lordosis
The authors conducted a study to determine at what stage after surgery the subsidence occurred, and to assess the relationships of radiographic fusion and the recurrence of symptoms with the development of subsidence. Ninety patients underwent a single-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) using paired stand-alone rectangular cages between November 2000 and June 2002. All patients had regular clinical or imaging follow-up for a minimum of 19 months (range 19–38 months, mean = 27 months). The ratio of male to female patients was 1:3.1. The patients’ ages at the time of ALIF ranged from 25 to 72 years, with a mean of 53 years. The preoperative and postoperative intervertebral disc heights were serially measured by plain radiographs. The location of cage subsidence into the vertebral body and times until the presence of subsidence were also assessed. The mean preoperative intervertebral disc height was 11.6±3.1 mm, which spread immediately after surgery to 16.9±2.0 mm. This increase was statistically significant (P=0.001). At the last follow-up visit, the mean intervertebral disc height had been reduced to 13.2±2.4 mm. Sixty-nine of 90 patients (76.7%) developed cage subsidence into the surrounding vertebral body. Subsidence was more often noted in the superior endplate above the cage with regard to the location of cage subsidence [superior endplate: 27 patients (39.1%), inferior endplate: 12 patients (17.3%), both: 30 patients (43.6%)]. The onset of subsidence varied from 0.25 to 8 months after surgery (median, 2.75 months). The 8-, 12-, and 16-week actuarial rates for developing cage subsidence were 38.9, 63.4, and 70.7%, respectively, when using the Kaplan–Meier method. There was no statistical correlation between the recurrence of symptoms (P=0.3952) and radiographic fusion (P=0.9518) with the log-rank test in development of subsidence. This study demonstrates that cage subsidence is an expected occurrence after ALIF using stand-alone rectangular cages. The 3- and 4-month actuarial rates for developing cage subsidence were 63.4 and 70.7%, respectively, and cage subsidence had no correlation with recurrence of symptoms and radiographic fusion in our study.
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF); Cage; Subsidence
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a widely accepted tool for management of painful degenerative disc disease. Recently, the modern laparoscopic surgical technique has been combined with ALIF procedure, with good early postoperative results being reported. However, the benefit of laparoscopic fusion is poorly defined compared with its open counterpart. This study aimed to compare perioperative parameters and minimum 2-year follow-up outcome for laparoscopic and open anterior surgical approach for L5–S1 fusion. The data of 54 consecutive patients who underwent anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) of L5–S1 from 1997 to 1999 were collected prospectively. More than 2-years’ follow-up data were available for 47 of these patients. In all cases, carbon cage and autologous bone graft were used for fusion. Twenty-five patients underwent a laparoscopic procedure and 22 an open mini-ALIF. Three laparoscopic procedures were converted to open ones. For perioperative parameters only, the operative time was statistically different (P=0.001), while length of postoperative hospital stay and blood loss were not. The incidence of operative complications was three in the laparoscopic group and two in the open mini-ALIF group. After a follow-up period of at least 2 years, the two groups showed no statistical difference in pain, measured by visual analog scale, in the Oswestry Disability Index or in the Patient Satisfaction Index. The fusion rate was 91% in both groups. The laparoscopic ALIF for L5–S1 showed similar clinical and radiological outcome when compared with open mini-ALIF, but significant advantages were not identified, despite its technical difficulty.
Laparoscopic ALIF; L5–S1 fusion; Carbon cage
To evaluate the clinical outcomes of cantilever transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (c-TLIF) for upper lumbar diseases.
Materials and Methods
Seventeen patients (11 males, 6 females; mean ± SD age: 62 ± 14 years) who underwent c-TLIF using kidney type spacers between 2002 and 2008 were retrospectively evaluated, at a mean follow-up of 44.1 ± 12.3 months (2 year minimum). The primary diseases studied were disc herniation, ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL), degenerative scoliosis, lumbar spinal canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and degeneration of adjacent disc after operation. Fusion areas were L1-L2 (5 patients), L2-L3 (9 patients), L1-L3 (1 patient), and L2-L4 (2 patients). Operation time, blood loss, complications, Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for back pain, bone union, sagittal alignment change of fusion level, and degeneration of adjacent disc were evaluated.
JOA score improved significantly after surgery, from 12 ± 2 to 23 ± 3 points (p < 0.01). We also observed significant improvement in sagittal alignment of the fusion levels, from - 1.0 ± 7.4 to 5.2 ± 6.1 degrees (p < 0.01). Bony fusion was obtained in all cases. One patient experienced a subcutaneous infection, which was cured by irrigation. At the final follow-up, three patients showed degenerative changes in adjacent discs, and one showed corrective loss of fusion level.
c-TLIF is a safe procedure, providing satisfactory results for patients with upper lumbar degenerative diseases.
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; upper lumbar spine; lumbar degenerative diseases; sagittal alignment; clinical outcome
A retrospective study.
To comparatively investigated the rate of the adjacent segment degeneration and the clinical outcomes in patients with spondylolytic spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis or degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Overview of Literature
There have been few studies reported on the adjacent segment degeneration following posterior lumbar interbody fusion(PLIF). Many risk factors for the adjacent segment degeneration following PLIF have been proposed. The range of decompression has been presented as one of the risk factors, yet controversial.
This study enrolled sixty-three patients who had been treated with single-level PLIF and who were followed up for more than two years. The patients were divided into 3 groups based on the preoperative diagnosis. We analyzed the difference between the preoperative and postoperative intervertebral disc heights of the superior adjacent segments. The incidence rates of instability and the clinical outcomes were comparatively analyzed between each group.
The average age of the patients was 55.8 years in the spondylolytic spondylolisthesis group, 65.9 years in the degenerative spondylolisthesis group and 60.4 years in the spinal stenosis group. The average follow-up period was 44 months, 43 months and 42 months, respectively. At the last follow-up, compared to the preoperative period, the intervertebral disc height decreased in all three groups. A statistically significant decrease (p < 0.01) was observed only in the spondylolytic spondylolisthesis group and no significant difference was observed between each group (p = 0.41). The incidence rate of instability and the clinical outcome were not significantly different between each group.
Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis with total laminectomy and single-level PLIF showed no significant difference in the superior adjacent segment degeneration and instability, and the clinical outcome as compared to that of partial laminectomy with single-level PLIF for treating degenerative spondylolisthesis or spinal stenosis.
Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis; Adjacent segment disease; Posterior lumbar interbody fusion
The purpose of the study was to compare conventional versus minimally invasive extraperitoneal approach for anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). Fifty-six consecutive patients with spondylolisthesis, lumbar instability, or failed back syndrome were treated with ALIF between 1991 and 2001. The patients were retrospectively evaluated and divided in two groups: Group 1, consisting 33 patients, was treated with ALIF using the conventional retroperitoneal approach, and Group 2, consisting of 23 patients, was operated with the minimally invasive muscle-splitting approach for ALIF. The groups were comparable as regards age, indication of fusion, and diagnosis. All patients in both groups had fusion with autologous iliac crest grafts and posterior instrumentation with posterolateral fusion in the same sitting. Clinical evaluation was done by two questionnaires: the North American Spine Society (NASS) Lumbar Spine Outcome Assessment Instrument and the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). Fusion rate was evaluated radiologically. Mean clinical follow-up was 5.5 years. There was no statistical difference in the occurrence of complications with both approaches nor with the fusion rates of 92% in group 1 and 84% in group 2 respectively. The minimally invasive extraperitoneal approach for ALIF was associated with significantly less intraoperative blood loss, operation time, and length of the skin incision. In addition, this approach showed significant improvement in postoperative back pain in comparison to the conventional approach for ALIF.
ALIF; Conventional; Minimally invasive; Lumbar spine
The objective of this study was to select factors related to the prognosis and curative effect for posterolateral fusion (PLF) of lumbar low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis (LGIS). Of 125 patients who accepted PLF treatment, 119 obtained solid union in this prospective study. Statistical analysis was used to evaluate factors related to the prognosis and curative effect. Spondylolisthetic position (L4, L5), gender and postoperative percent disc height were not significant factors for the prognosis and curative effect. Length of disease history (LDH), preoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score and postoperative percentage of slipping (% slip) were significantly related to postoperative JOA score and postoperative improved JOA score. LDH and postoperative % slip were significantly related to postoperative recovery rate. LDH, preoperative JOA score and postoperative % slip were independent related factors for the prognosis and improvement of LGIS. LDH and postoperative % slip were independent related factors for the curative effect. However, age, gender, spondylolisthetic position and postoperative percent disc height were not significant factors.
No consensus has been reached regarding surgical management of degenerative spondylolisthesis. The optimal type of surgical procedure and surgical indications have not been precisely defined. In order to screen for predictors of outcome, we retrospectively studied patient outcomes after posterior decompression and fusion for isolated lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. Twenty-four consecutive patients (age range 50–78 years) underwent primary surgery for isolated lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. The surgical procedure consisted of posterior decompression and pedicle screw instrumented fusion using autogeneous bone graft, with or without interbody fusion. Clinical and radiologic status were assessed using the Beaujon functional score and plain AP and lateral radiographs. A multivariate analysis was used to correlate the functional score increase with surgical procedure modifications and preoperative clinical and radiologic features in order to determine which of them led to better results. Eighteen patients completed the evaluation. Six others were lost to follow-up after a minimum of 0.87 years. Combining all the results, the mean follow-up was 2.87 years. The Beaujon score was improved in the 24 patients (P<0.001), and fusion was successful in all cases. Additional interbody fusion and preoperative leg pain were significantly correlated with larger score increase (P=0.016 and P=0.003). Posterior decompression and fusion is successful in treating lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. From this study, circumferential fusion improves the outcomes and leg pain is a fair indication for surgery.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis; Postero-lateral fusion; Interbody fusion; Decompression; Surgical indication; Multivariate analysis
The purpose of this study was to compare the outcome of anterior lumbar interbody fusion without instrumentation (uninstrumented ALIF) against that with stable anterior cage fixation using Hartshill horseshoe instrumentation (ALIF-HH) for similar severity of disc disease. Between April 1994 and June 1998 the senior author N.R.B. performed 29 instrumented ALIF procedures with a Hartshill horseshoe cage (ALIF-HH). Between 1990 and 1998, the other senior author (J.M.H.), together with another senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon, performed 27 noninstrumented ALIF procedures using corticocancellous iliac crest autograft. All the patients in both groups had single-level fusion. An independent assessor (S.M.) performed the entire review. The mean follow-up was 4.7 years (2.3–7.9 years) in the uninstrumented ALIF group and 3.0 years (2.1–4.4 years) in the ALIF-HH group. There was subsidence of graft in four patients in the uninstrumented ALIF group. It is reasonable to assume that there was no pseudarthrosis in the ALIF-HH group. This difference was statistically significant (two-sided P-value =0.0425). On subjective score assessment, there was a satisfactory outcome (score≤30) of 87.5% (21 patients) in the uninstrumented ALIF group and 85.2% (23 patients) in the ALIF-HH group (P>0.05). On classification by the Oswestry Index into four categories, we found no difference in outcome between the two groups: 83.3% (n=20) had a satisfactory outcome (defined as Excellent or Better) with ALIF and 77.8% (n=21) had a satisfactory outcome with ALIF-HH using the Oswestry Disability Index for post-operative assessment (P>0.05). The results of this study indicate that the Hartshill horseshoe cage does improve the fusion rate, but does not affect clinical outcome.
Hartshill horseshoe; Anterior lumbar fusion; Cage
This retrospective study was performed to evaluate the clinical and radiological results of anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) using two different stand-alone cages in the treatment of lumbar intervertebral foraminal stenosis (IFS).
A total of 28 patients who underwent ALIF at L5-S1 using stand-alone cage were studied [Stabilis® (Stryker, Kalamazoo, MI, USA); 13, SynFix-LR® (Synthes Bettlach, Switzerland); 15]. Mean follow-up period was 27.3 ± 4.9 months. Visual analogue pain scale (VAS) and Oswestry disability index (ODI) were assessed. Radiologically, the change of disc height, intervertebral foraminal (IVF) height and width at the operated segment were measured, and fusion status was defined.
Final mean VAS (back and leg) and ODI scores were significantly decreased from preoperative values (5.6 ± 2.3 → 2.3 ± 2.2, 6.3 ± 3.2 → 1.6 ± 1.6, and 53.7 ± 18.6 → 28.3 ± 13.1, respectively), which were not different between the two devices groups. In Stabilis® group, postoperative immediately increased disc and IVF heights (10.09 ± 4.15 mm → 14.99 ± 1.73 mm, 13.00 ± 2.44 mm → 16.28 ± 2.23 mm, respectively) were gradually decreased, and finally returned to preoperative value (11.29 ± 1.67 mm, 13.59 ± 2.01 mm, respectively). In SynFix-LR® group, immediately increased disc and IVF heights (9.60 ± 2.82 mm → 15.61 ± 0.62 mm, 14.01 ± 2.53 mm → 21.27 ± 1.93 mm, respectively) were maintained until the last follow up (13.72 ± 1.21 mm, 17.87 ± 2.02 mm, respectively). The changes of IVF width of each group was minimal pre- and postoperatively. Solid arthrodesis was observed in 11 patients in Stabilis group (11/13, 84.6%) and 13 in SynFix-LR® group (13/15, 86.7%).
ALIF using stand-alone cage could assure good clinical results in the treatment of symptomatic lumbar IFS in the mid-term follow up. A degree of subsidence at the operated segment was different depending on the device type, which was higher in Stabilis® group.
Anterior approach; Lumbar interbody fusion; Lumbar foraminal stenosis; Stand-alone cage
A prospective clinical study of posterior lumbar interbody fusion in grade I and II degenerative spondylolisthesis was conducted between Mar 2007 and Aug 2008.
The objective was to assess the clinicoradiological profile of structural v/s nonstructural graft on intervertebral disc height and its consequences on the low back pain (LBP) assessed by Visual analog score (VAS) score and oswestry disability index (ODI) . This study involved 28 patients.
Age of 30–70 years, symptomatic patient with disturbed Activities of daily living (ADL), single-level L4/L5 or L5/S1 grade I or grade II degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Patients with osteoporosis, recent spondylodiscitis, subchondral sclerosis, visual and cognitive impairment and all other types of spondylolisthesis. All the patients underwent short-segment posterior fixation using CD2 or M8 instrumentation, laminectomy discectomy, reduction and distraction of the involved vertebral space. In 53.5% (n = 15) of the patients, snugly fitted local bone chips were used while in 46.4% (n = 13) of the patients, cage was used. Among the cage group, titanium cage was used in nine (32.1%) and PEEK cages were used in four (14.2%) patients. In one patient, a unilateral PEEK cage was used. The mean follow-up period was 24 months. Among the 28 patients, 67.8% (n = 19) were females and 32.14% (n = 9) were males. 68.24% (n = 18) had L4/L5 and 35.71% (n = 10) had L5/S1 spondylolisthesis. 39.28% (n = 11) were of grade I and 60.71% (n = 17) were of grade II spondylolisthesis.
There was a statistically significant correlation (P < 0.012 and P < 0.027) between the change in disc height achieved and the improvement in VAS score in both the graft group and the cage group. The increment in disc height and VAS score was significantly better in the cage group (2 mm ± SD vis-a-vis 7.2 [88%]) than the graft group (1.2 mm ± SD vis-a-vis 5 [62 %]).
Lowbackpain; transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; posterior lumbar interbody fusion; spinal sensory evoked potential
Adjacent segment degeneration (ASD) is discussed to impair long-term outcome after lumbar interbody fusion. Nevertheless the amount and origin of degeneration and its clinical relevance remain unclear. Only little data is published studying quantitative disc height reduction (DHR) as indicator for ASD in long-term follow-up. Forty patients (23 men, 17 women) (group 1: degenerative disc disease, n = 27; group 2: lytic spondylolisthesis, n = 13) underwent lumbar 360° instrumentation and fusion between 1991 and 1997. Preoperative and follow-up lateral lumbar radiographs were studied. Disc heights of first and second cephalad adjacent segments were measured by Farfan’s technique and Hurxthal’s technique modified by Pope. Clinical outcome was studied using Oswestry disability index (ODI) and visual analogue scale (VAS). Age, gender, prior surgery, fusion rate and number of fusion levels were investigated as potential factors affecting the outcome. Mean follow-up was 114 (72–161) months. Clinical outcome showed an improvement of 44.6% in ODI and 43.8% in VAS with a tendency towards better results in group 2. Fusion rate was 95%. Disc height of the first cephalad adjacent segment in all patients was reduced by on average 21% (Farfan, P < 0.001) and 19% (Pope, P < 0.001), respectively, and that of the second adjacent level by on average 16% (Farfan, P < 0.001) and 14% (Pope, P < 0.001), respectively. A tendency towards more disc height reduction (DHR) in the degenerative group was observed. Advanced age correlated with advanced DHR (P ≤ 0.003, r = 0.5). Multiple level fusion led to a more pronounced DHR than 1-level fusion (P = 0.028). There was a tendency towards more DHR in the first adjacent disc compared to the second. Gender, prior surgery of the fused segment and fusion level did not affect the amount of DHR. There was no correlation between the clinical outcome and DHR. Lumbar fusion is associated with DHR of adjacent discs. This may be induced by additional biomechanical stress, ongoing degeneration affecting the lumbar spine and advancing age. However, clinical outcome is not correlated with adjacent DHR.
Adjacent segment; Lumbar fusion; Disc height; Clinical outcome; Disc degeneration
Degenerative disease of the lumbar spine is common in ageing populations. It causes disturbing back pain, radicular symptoms and lowers the quality of life. We will focus our discussion on the surgical options of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) for lumbar degenerative spinal deformities, which include symptomatic spondylolisthesis and degenerative scoliosis. Through a description of each procedure, we hope to illustrate the potential benefits of TLIF over PLIF. In a retrospective study of 53 ALIF/PLIF patients and 111 TLIF patients we found reduced risk of vessel and nerve injury in TLIF patients due to less exposure of these structures, shortened operative time and reduced intra-operative bleeding. These advantages could be translated to shortened hospital stay, faster recovery period and earlier return to work. The disadvantages of TLIF such as incomplete intervertebral disc and vertebral end-plate removal and potential occult injury to exiting nerve root when under experienced hands are rare. Hence TLIF remains the mainstay of treatment in degenerative deformities of the lumbar spine. However, TLIF being a unilateral transforaminal approach, is unable to decompress the opposite nerve root. This may require contralateral laminotomy, which is a fairly simple procedure. The use of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) to treat degenerative lumbar spinal deformity is still in its early stages. Although the initial results appear promising, it remains a difficult operative procedure to master with a steep learning curve. In a recent study comparing 29 MI-TLIF patients and 29 open TLIF, MI-TLIF was associated with longer operative time, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, with no difference in SF-36 scores at six months and two years. Whether it can replace traditional TLIF as the surgery of choice for degenerative lumbar deformity remains unknown and more studies are required to validate the safety and efficiency.
Degenerative spine; lumbar spine fusion; minimally invasive transforaminal fusion
This is a retrospective case series to evaluate clinical variables, complications and outcome of 50 patients who underwent anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) supplemented with posterior percutaneous pedicle screw fixation for degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine. Twenty-four patients underwent single-level fusion and 26 patients had a two-level fusion for a total of 76 levels fused. The mean lengths of the anterior and posterior (including repositioning) portions of the procedure were 131 and 102 min, respectively. The mean estimated blood loss for the entire procedure was 288 ml. The overall adverse event rate was 12%. The mean VAS score for leg pain, VAS score for back pain and mean ODI all improved postoperatively. This study found that ALIF using allograft bone and rhBMP-2 combined with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation had a high fusion rate and a low incidence of perioperative complications. Patient outcomes showed significant improvements in back and leg pain and physical functioning.
Lumbar arthrodesis; Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF); Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation
The unilateral transforaminal approach for lumbar interbody fusion as an alternative to the anterior (ALIF) and traditional posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) combined with pedicle screw instrumentation is gaining in popularity. At present, a prospective study using a standardized tool for outcome measurement after the transforaminal lumber interbody fusion (TLIF) with a follow-up of at least 3 years is not available in the current literature, although there have been reports on specific complications and cost efficiency. Therefore, a study of TLIF was undertaken. Fifty-two consecutive patients with a minimum follow-up of 3 years were included, with the mean follow-up being 46 months (36–64). The indications were 22 isthmic spondylolistheses and 30 degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine. Thirty-nine cases were one-level, 11 cases were two-level, and two cases were three-level fusions. The pain and disability status was prospectively evaluated by the Oswestry disability index (ODI) and a visual analog scale (VAS). The status of bony fusion was evaluated by an independent radiologist using anterior–posterior and lateral radiographs. The operation time averaged 173 min for one-level and 238 min for multiple-level fusions. Average blood loss was 485 ml for one-level and 560 ml for multiple-level fusions. There were four serious complications registered: a deep infection, a persistent radiculopathy, a symptomatic contralateral disc herniation and a pseudarthrosis with loosening of the implants. Overall, the pain relief in the VAS and the reduction of the ODI was significant (P<0.05) at follow-up. The fusion rate was 89%. At the latest follow-up, significant differences of the ODI were neither found between isthmic spondylolistheses and degenerative diseases, nor between one- and multiple-level fusions. In conclusion, the TLIF technique has comparable results to other interbody fusions, such as the PLIF and ALIF techniques. The potential advantages of the TLIF technique include avoidance of the anterior approach and reduction of the approach related posterior trauma to the spinal canal.
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF); Low back pain; Spinal fusion; Lumbar fusion; Interbody fusion
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
This study is to compare the therapeutic effect of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) with pedicle screw fixation on treatment in adult degenerative spondylolisthesis. A retrospective analysis of 187 patients to compare the complications and associated predictive factors of the two techniques of one level lumbar fusion. Ninety-one had PLIF with two cages and pedicle fixation (group 1), and ninety-six had TLIF with one cage and pedicle fixation (group 2). The two groups had similar age and sex distribution, and level of pain. Inclusion criteria and outcome measurements were identical in both groups. The two groups were operated on with autograft and cage with pedicle fixation. Before surgery and at the 2-year follow-up, pain (VAS) and functional disability (JOA) were quantified. The results showed there were no intraoperative deaths in our study. In the end 176 cases had 2-year follow-up while 11 cases were lost to follow-up. The follow-up rate was 93.4% (85/91) in the PLIF group and 94.8% (91/96) in the TLIF group. All patients had bone fusion, and there were no cases of cage extrusion. The pain index improved from 7.08 ± 1.13 to 2.84 ± 0.89 in PLIF patients and improved from 7.18 ± 1.09 to 2.84 ± 0.91 in TLIF patients (P < 0.001). There were 42 cases of excellent, 29 cases of good, 11 cases of general, and 3 cases of poor results in PLIF group. There were 46 cases of excellent, 31 case of good, 12 case of general, and 2 cases of poor results in TLIF group. The JOA score in all patients was 84.1% of good or excellent (83.5% in PLIF and 84.6% in TLIF, P > 0.05). The average preoperative slip was 30.1 ± 7.2% in PLIF group while in the TLIF it was 31.4 ± 8.3%. Immediately post operatively it was reduced to 7.3 ± 2.1% and 7.4 ± 2.7% and at last F/U it was 8.1 ± 2.8% and 8.2 ± 2.6%, respectively. The average of reduction rate was 75.2 ± 6.4% in PLIF and 75.4 ± 6.2 in TLIF on the initial post operatively X-ray, and 72.6 ± 5.2% and 72.4 ± 5.4% on the follow-up. The percentage rate, reduction rate and lost of reduction rate between the two groups was similar (P > 0.05). The average pre operative disk and foramen height in the PLIF group improved from 6.8 ± 2.3 and 14.2 ± 1.7 preoperatively to 11.6 ± 1.5 and 18.7 ± 1.8 post operatively, respectively. At last follow up there was minimal lost of correction down to 11.24 ± 1.2 and 18.1 ± 1.8, respectively. Similarly in the TLIF group, pre operative disk and foramen height were improved from 6.7 ± 1.7 and 14.1 ± 1.8 to 11.4 ± 1.6 and 18.5 ± 1.6 immediately post operative. At last follow up minimal lost of correction was noted with average disc height of 11.3 ± 1.4 and 18.2 ± 1.7. Both techniques achieve statistical significance in restoration of disc and foraminal (P < 0.01); however, there was no statistical difference between the two techniques. In conclusion, interbody fusion with either a PLIF technique or a TLIF technique provides good outcomes in the treatment of adult degenerative spondylolisthesis. The TLIF procedure is simpler and is as safe and effective as the PLIF technique.
Spondyolisthesis; Interverterbral fusion; Internal fixation
To document lumbar lordosis (LL) of the spine and its change during surgeries with the different height but the same angle setting of the anterior cage. Additionally, we attempted to determine if sufficient LL is achieved at different cage heights and to quantify the change in LL during multi-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).
The medical records and radiographs of 42 patients who underwent more than 2 level ALIFs between 2008 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. We evaluated 3 parameters seen on lateral whole spine radiographs : LL, pelvic incidence (PI), and sagittal vertical axis (SVA). The mean follow-up time was 28.1 months and the final follow-up radiographs of all patients were reviewed at least 2 years after surgery. Statistical analysis was performed using the paired t-tests.
Lumbar lordosis had changed up to 30 degrees immediately and 2 years after surgery (preoperative mean LL, SVA : 22.45 degrees, 112.31 mm; immediate postoperative mean LL, SVA : 54.45 degrees, 37.36 mm; final follow-up mean LL, SVA : 49.56 degrees, 26.95 mm). Our goal of LL is to obtain as much PI as possible, preoperative mean PI value was 55.38±3.35. The pre-operative and two year post-surgery follow-up mean of the Japanese Orthopedic Association score were 9.2±0.6 and 13.2±0.6 (favorable outcome rate : 95%), respectively. In addition, we were able to obtain good clinical outcomes and sagittal balance with a subsidence rate of 22.7%.
We were able to achieve sufficient LL, such that it was similar to the PI, utilizing multi-level ALIF with the use of a tall cage with the same angle setting of the cage. We have found out that achieving sufficient lumbar lordosis and sagittal balance require an anterior lumbar cage with high angle and height.
ALIF; Anterior interbody fusion; Multilevel ALIF; Pelvic incidence; Anterior lumbar cage; Sagittal balance
Spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis share many symptoms and the same treatment, but their causes remain unclear. Bone mineral density has been suggested to play a role. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in spinal bone density between spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis patients. 81 patients older than 60 years, who underwent DXA-scanning of their lumbar spine one year after a lumbar spinal fusion procedure, were included. Radiographs were assessed for disc height, vertebral wedging, and osteophytosis. Pain was assessed using the Low Back Pain Rating Scale pain index. T-score of the lumbar spine was significantly lower among degenerative spondylolisthesis patients compared with spinal stenosis patients (−1.52 versus −0.52, P = 0.04). Thirty-nine percent of degenerative spondylolisthesis patients were classified as osteoporotic and further 30% osteopenic compared to only 9% of spinal stenosis patients being osteoporotic and 30% osteopenic (P = 0.01). Pain levels tended to increase with poorer bone status (P = 0.06). Patients treated surgically for symptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis have much lower bone mass than patients of similar age treated surgically for spinal stenosis. Low BMD might play a role in the development of the degenerative spondylolisthesis, further studies are needed to clarify this.
This is a retrospective study that was done according to clinical and radiological evaluation.
We analyzed the clinical and radiological outcomes of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody single level fusion.
Overview of Literature
Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is effective surgical method for treating degenerative lumbar disease.
The study was conducted on 56 patients who were available for longer than 2 years (range, 24 to 45 months) follow-up after undergoing minimally invasive transforminal lumbar interbody single level fusion. Clinical evaluation was performed by the analysis of the visual analogue scale (VAS) score and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the Kirkaldy-Willis score. For the radiological evaluation, the disc space height, the segmental lumbar lordotic angle and the whole lumbar lordotic angle were analyzed. At the final follow-up after operation, the fusion rate was analyzed according to Bridwell's anterior fusion grade.
For the evaluation of clinical outcomes, the VAS score was reduced from an average of 6.7 prior to surgery to an average of 1.8 at the final follow-up. The ODI was decreased from an average of 36.5 prior to surgery to an average of 12.8 at the final follow-up. In regard to the clinical outcomes evaluated by the Kirkaldy-Willis score, better than good results were obtained in 52 cases (92.9%). For the radiological evaluation, the disc space height (p = 0.002), and the whole lumbar lordotic angle (p = 0.001) were increased at the final follow-up. At the final follow-up, regarding the interbody fusion, radiological union was obtained in 54 cases (95.4%).
We think that if surgeons become familiar with the surgical techniques, this is a useful method for minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Minimally invasive; Transformainal; Lumbar interbody; Single level fusion
Comparatively little is known about the relation between the sagittal vertical axis and clinical outcome in cases of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. The objective of this study was to determine whether lumbar sagittal balance affects clinical outcomes after posterior interbody fusion. This series suggests that consideration of sagittal balance during posterior interbody fusion for degenerative spondylolisthesis can yield high levels of patient satisfaction and restore spinal balance
A retrospective study of clinical outcomes and a radiological review was performed on 18 patients with one or two level degenerative spondylolisthesis. Patients were divided into two groups: the patients without improvement in pelvic tilt, postoperatively (Group A; n = 10) and the patients with improvement in pelvic tilt postoperatively (Group B; n = 8). Pre- and postoperative clinical outcome surveys were administered to determine Visual Analogue Pain Scores (VAS) and Oswestry disability index (ODI). In addition, we evaluated full spine radiographic films for pelvic tilt (PT), sacral slope (SS), pelvic incidence (PI), thoracic kyphosis (TK), lumbar lordosis (LL), sacrofemoral distance (SFD), and sacro C7 plumb line distance (SC7D)
All 18 patients underwent surgery principally for the relief of radicular leg pain and back pain. In groups A and B, mean preoperative VAS were 6.85 and 6.81, respectively, and these improved to 3.20 and 1.63 at last follow-up. Mean preoperative ODI were 43.2 and 50.4, respectively, and these improved to 23.6 and 18.9 at last follow-up. In spinopelvic parameters, no significant difference was found between preoperative and follow up variables except PT in Group A. However, significant difference was found between the preoperative and follows up values of PT, SS, TK, LL, and SFD/SC7D in Group B. Between parameters of group A and B, there is borderline significance on preoperative PT, preoperative LL and last follow up SS.
Correlation analysis revealed the VAS improvements in Group A were significantly related to postoperative lumbar lordosis (Pearson's coefficient = -0.829; p = 0.003). Similarly, ODI improvements were also associated with postoperative lumbar lordosis (Pearson's coefficient = -0.700; p = 0.024). However, in Group B, VAS and ODI improvements were not found to be related to postoperative lumbar lordosis and to spinopelvic parameters.
In the current series, patients improving PT after fusion were found to achieve good clinical outcomes in degenerative spondylolisthesis. Overall, our findings show that it is important to quantify sagittal spinopelvic parameters and promote sagittal balance when performing lumbar fusion for degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) followed by pedicle screw fixation (PSF) is used to restore the height of the intervertebral disc and provide stability. Recently, stand-alone interbody cage with anterior fixation has been introduced, which eliminates the need for posterior surgery. We compared the biomechanics of the stand-alone interbody cage to that of the interbody cage with additional PSF in ALIF.
A three-dimensional, non-linear finite element model (FEM) of the L2-5 segment was modified to simulate ALIF in L3-4. The models were tested under the following conditions: (1) intact spine, (2) destabilized spine, (3) with the interbody cage alone (type 1), (4) with the stand-alone cage with anterior fixation (SynFix-LR®; type 2), and (5) with type 1 in addition to PSF (type 3). Range of motion (ROM) and the stiffness of the operated level, ROM of the adjacent segments, load sharing distribution, facet load, and vertebral body stress were quantified with external loading.
The implanted models had decreased ROM and increased stiffness compared to those of the destabilized spine. The type 2 had differences in ROM limitation of 8%, 10%, 4%, and 6% in flexion, extension, axial rotation, and lateral bending, respectively, compared to those of type 3. Type 2 had decreased ROM of the upper and lower adjacent segments by 3-11% and 3-6%, respectively, compared to those of type 3. The greatest reduction in facet load at the operated level was observed in type 3 (71%), followed by type 2 (31%) and type 1 (23%). An increase in facet load at the adjacent level was highest in type 3, followed by type 2 and type 1. The distribution of load sharing in type 2 (anterior:posterior, 95:5) was similar to that of the intact spine (89:11), while type 3 migrated posterior (75:25) to the normal. Type 2 reduced about 15% of the stress on the lower vertebral endplate compared to that in type 1. The stress of type 2 increased two-fold compared to the stress of type 3, especially in extension.
The stand-alone interbody cage can provide sufficient stability, reduce stress in adjacent levels, and share the loading distribution in a manner similar to an intact spine.
ALIF; Stand-alone cage; Pedicle screw fixation; Finite element analysis
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
We reviewed the clinical and radiological results of patients with lumbar degenerative spinal stenosis who underwent expansive laminoplasty with a mean follow-up term of 5.6 years. Twenty-seven patients underwent open-door-type expansive lumbar laminoplasty, which has both decompression and stabilization effects. Clinical results were assessed based on the score system devised by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA score). The number and causes of repeat surgery were also evaluated. Radiological changes, such as degenerative scoliosis and spondylolisthesis, were evaluated at the operated levels and at levels Ll–L5. There was marked recovery of clinical symptoms assessed by pre- and postoperative JOA score. Nearly 80% of patients obtained good or excellent results. Only one patient (4%) required additional surgery, which involved discectomy at the caudal level of the laminoplasty. Radiographic evaluation revealed that postoperative changes of spondylolisthesis and scoliosis were slight both in the expanded area and the Ll–L5 levels. Range of motion of the disc space angle in the expanded area showed a significant decrease postoperatively. However, pre- and postoperative radiological changes showed no significant correlation with JOA score changes and repeat surgery. In conclusion, lumbar fusion after posterior decompression in active patients with spinal stenosis offers satisfactory clinical results concomitantly with a relatively small risk of repeat surgery.
Spinal stenosis; Lumbar spine; Expansive laminoplasty
The aim of the current study was to evaluate changes in lumbar kinematics after lumbar monosegmental instrumented surgery with rigid fusion and dynamic non-fusion stabilization. A total of 77 lumbar spinal stenosis patients with L4 degenerative spondylolisthesis underwent L4–5 monosegmental posterior instrumented surgery. Of these, 36 patients were treated with rigid fusion (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) and 41 with dynamic stabilization [segmental spinal correction system (SSCS)]. Lumbar kinematics was evaluated with functional radiographs preoperatively and at final follow-up postoperatively. We defined the contribution of each segmental mobility to the total lumbar mobility as the percent segmental mobility [(sagittal angular motion of each segment in degrees)/(total sagittal angular motion in degrees) × 100]. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed on all patients preoperatively and at final follow-up postoperatively. The discs were classified into five grades based on the previously reported system. We defined the progress of disc degeneration as (grade at final follow-up) − (grade at preoperatively). No significant kinematical differences were shown at any of the lumbar segments preoperatively; however, significant differences were observed at the L2–3, L4–5, and L5–S1 segments postoperatively between the groups. At final follow-up, all of the lumbar segments with rigid fusion demonstrated significantly greater disc degeneration than those with dynamic stabilization. Our results suggest that the SSCS preserved 14% of the kinematical operations at the instrumented segment. The SSCS may prevent excessive effects on adjacent segmental kinematics and may prevent the incidence of adjacent segment disorder.
Adjacent segment disorder; Dynamic non-fusion stabilization; Rigid fusion; Segmental spinal correction system (SSCS); Lumbar segmental mobility