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
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
To assess the radiographic results in patients who underwent transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), particularly the changes in segmental lordosis in the fusion segment, whole lumbar lordosis and disc height.
Twenty six cases of single-level TLIF in degenerative lumbar diseases were analyzed. The changes in segmental lordosis, whole lumbar lordosis, and disc height were evaluated before surgery, after surgery and at the final follow-up.
The segmental lordosis increased significantly after surgery but decreased at the final follow-up. Compared to the preoperative values, the segmental lordosis did not change significantly at the final follow-up. Whole lumbar lordosis at the final follow-up was significantly higher than the preoperative values. The disc height was significantly higher in after surgery than before surgery (p = 0.000) and the disc height alter surgery and at the final follow-up was similar.
When performing TLIF, careful surgical techniques and attention are needed to restore and maintain the segmental lordosis at the fusion level.
Lumbar osteoarthritis; Spinal fusion; Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; Segmental lordosis
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
Chronic lower back pain is a potentially incapacitating condition associated with disc degeneration. Although therapy is primarily pharmaceutical, surgery comprising arthrodesis constitutes an alternative. Anterior intersomatic lumbar arthrodesis (ALIF, anterior interbody lumbar fusion) is the reference approach, although total disc arthroplasty may also be undertaken. Analysis of pelvic and spinal parameters provides the best indication of sagittal balance.
Materials and methods
This was a prospective study in a continuous series of 99 patients presenting chronic lower back pain due to disc disease. Pelvic incidence, sacral slope, pelvic tilt, spino-sacral angle (SSA) and the four back types in the Roussouly classification were studied in radiographs of the whole spine under load using an EOS imaging system.
The pre-operative SSA value for the study population was 126.09° ± 8.45° and the mean spine tilt angle was 90° compared with 95° in healthy subjects. Following surgery, the SSA was considerably increased in the discal arthroplasty, resulting in a significantly more balanced spinal position. In the group of patients undergoing arthrodesis using the ALIF technique, no such significant improvement was found despite the use of a lordosis cage. We showed that in cases of low pelvic incidence, it was necessary to maintain a Roussouly type 1 or 2 back without increasing lordosis. The results demonstrated the value of L4–L5 disc prostheses in these subjects. L5–S1 arthrodesis seemed a more suitable approach for treating patients with elevated sacral slope (back type 3 or 4). This new type of analysis of sagittal parameters should be performed prior to all surgical procedures involving lumbar prostheses.
Lumbar disc degeneration; ALIF; Total disc prosthesis; Sagittal balance; Spino-pelvic organisation; Spino-sacral angle
Background. The minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion (MIS LIF) in the lumbar spine can correct coronal Cobb angles, but the effect on sagittal plane correction is unclear. Methods. A retrospective review of thirty-five patients with lumbar degenerative disease who underwent MIS LIF without supplemental posterior instrumentation was undertaken to study the radiographic effect on the restoration of segmental and regional lumbar lordosis using the Cobb angles on pre- and postoperative radiographs. Mean disc height changes were also measured. Results. The mean follow-up period was 13.3 months. Fifty total levels were fused with a mean of 1.42 levels fused per patient. Mean segmental Cobb angle increased from 11.10° to 13.61° (P < 0.001) or 22.6%. L2-3 had the greatest proportional increase in segmental lordosis. Mean regional Cobb angle increased from 52.47° to 53.45° (P = 0.392). Mean disc height increased from 6.50 mm to 10.04 mm (P < 0.001) or 54.5%. Conclusions. The MIS LIF improves segmental lordosis and disc height in the lumbar spine but not regional lumbar lordosis. Anterior longitudinal ligament sectioning and/or the addition of a more lordotic implant may be necessary in cases where significant increases in regional lumbar lordosis are desired.
Three column thoracic osteotomy (TCTO) is effective to correct rigid thoracic deformities, however, reasons for residual postoperative spinal deformity are poorly defined. Our objective was to evaluate risk factors for poor spino-pelvic alignment (SPA) following TCTO for adult spinal deformity (ASD).
Multicenter, retrospective radiographic analysis of ASD patients treated with TCTO. Radiographic measures included: correction at the osteotomy site, thoracic kyphosis (TK), lumbar lordosis (LL), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), pelvic tilt (PT), and pelvic incidence (PI). Final SVA and PT were assessed to determine if ideal SPA (SVA < 4 cm, PT < 25°) was achieved. Differences between the ideal (IDEAL) and failed (FAIL) SPA groups were evaluated.
A total of 41 consecutive ASD patients treated with TCTO were evaluated. TCTO significantly decreased TK, maximum coronal Cobb angle, SVA and PT (P < 0.05). Ideal SPA was achieved in 32 (78%) and failed in 9 (22%) patients. The IDEAL and FAIL groups had similar total fusion levels and similar focal, SVA and PT correction (P > 0.05). FAIL group had larger pre- and post-operative SVA, PT and PI and a smaller LL than IDEAL (P < 0.05).
Poor SPA occurred in 22% of TCTO patients despite similar operative procedures and deformity correction as patients in the IDEAL group. Greater pre-operative PT and SVA predicted failed post-operative SPA. Alternative or additional correction procedures should be considered when planning TCTO for patients with large sagittal global malalignment, otherwise patients are at risk for suboptimal correction and poor outcomes.
Spinopelvic alignment; Sagittal vertical axis; Osteotomy; Pedicle subtraction osteotomy; Thoracic; Vertebral column resection
The availability of lumbar interbody cages has fuelled renewed interest in interbody fusion. Despite this, there is no consensus regarding the best non-invasive method for evaluation of interbody fusion, especially where cages have been used. The purpose of this study was to determine whether high-quality thin-slice (1- to 3-mm) computed tomography (CT) scans allow proper evaluation of interbody fusion through titanium cages. Patients undergoing lumbar interbody fusion were prospectively evaluated with CT scan and plain radiographs 6 months following surgery. These images were blindly and independently evaluated by a consultant radiologist and a spine research fellow, for bridging bony trabeculation both through and surrounding the cages as well as for changes at the cage endplate interface. Fifty-three patients (156 cages) undergoing posterior lumbar interbody fusion using titanium interbody cages were evaluated. Posterior elements were used to pack the cages and no graft was packed outside the cages. The outcome data were analysed using the Kappa co-efficient and chi-squared analysis. On CT scan, both observers noted bridging trabeculation in 95% of the cages (Kappa 0.85), while on radiographs this was present in only 4% (Kappa 0.74). Both observers also identified bridging trabeculation surrounding the cages on CT scan in 90% of cages (Kappa 0.82), while on the radiographs this was 8% (Kappa 0.86). Radiographs also failed to demonstrate all the loose cages. The results of the study show that high-quality CT scans show images suggesting bridging bony trabeculae following the use of titanium interbody cages. They also appear to show consistent bone outside the cages in spite of no bone graft having been used, and they appear to be better than plain radiographs in the early detection of cage loosening.
Lumbar interbody fusion; Plain radiographs; CT
The aims of the current study are to evaluate the minimum 10-year follow-up clinical results of anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Overview of Literature
ALIF has been widely used as a treatment regimen in the management of lumbar spondylolisthesis. Still much controversy exists regarding the factors that affect the postoperative clinical outcomes.
The author performed a retrospective review of 20 patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis treated with ALIF (follow-up, 16.4 years). The clinical results were assessed by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for low back pain, vertebral slip and disc height index on the radiographs.
The mean preoperative JOA score was 7.1 ± 1.8 points (15-point-method). At 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years or more after surgery, the JOA scores were assessed as 12.4 ± 2.2 points, 12.7 ± 2.6 points, 12.0 ± 2.5 points, respectively (excluding the data of reoperated cases). The adjacent disc degeneration developed in all cases during the long-term follow-up. The progressive pattern of disc degeneration was divided into three types. Initially, disc degeneration occurred due to disc space narrowing. After that, the intervertebral discs showed segmental instability with translation at the upper level. But the lower discs showed osteophyte formation, and occasionally lead to the collapse or spontaneous union.
The clinical results of the long-term follow-up data after ALIF became worse due to the adjacent disc degeneration. The progressive pattern of disc degeneration was different according to the adjacent levels.
Spondylolisthesis; Lumbar regions; Intervertebral disc disease
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
Lateral whole-spine radiography is a useful tool in the management of spinal deformity, but the most appropriate arm position during radiography has yet to be determined. In this prospective study, we evaluated 26 adult volunteers and 22 patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis. Lateral whole-spine radiographs were acquired in the most stable and relaxed position while the subjects were standing with their arms extended and their hand gently clasped in front of the trunk (clasped position). The following parameters were measured: sagittal vertical axis (SVA), lumbar lordotic angle (LLA), pelvic angle (PA), pelvic lordosis angle (PRS1), pelvic tilt (PT), and pelvic incidence (PI). The reliability of measurements was assessed by interclass correlation coefficients. The SVA was slightly positive in volunteers. LLA, PA, PRS1, PT, and PI were compatible with standard normal values. The results showed “almost perfect agreement” with regard to intra- and interobserver reliability. The clasped position can be used effectively and reliably for measurement of sagittal spinal alignment for the lumbar region in adults.
Sagittal spinal alignment; Arm position; Sagittal vertical axis; Clasped position
This multi-center clinical study was designed to determine the long-term results of patients who received a one-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion with expandable cage (Tyche® cage) for degenerative spinal diseases during the same period in each hospital.
Fifty-seven patients with low back pain who had a one-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion using a newly designed expandable cage were enrolled in this study at five centers from June 2003 to December 2004 and followed up for 24 months. Pain improvement was checked with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and their disability was evaluated with the Oswestry Disability Index. Radiographs were obtained before and after surgery. At the final follow-up, dynamic stability, quality of bone fusion, interveretebral disc height, and lumbar lordosis were assessed. In some cases, a lumbar computed tomography scan was also obtained.
The mean VAS score of back pain was improved from 6.44 points preoperatively to 0.44 at the final visit and the score of sciatica was reduced from 4.84 to 0.26. Also, the Oswestry Disability Index was improved from 32.62 points preoperatively to 18.25 at the final visit. The fusion rate was 92.5%. Intervertebral disc height, recorded as 9.94±2.69 mm before surgery was increased to 12.23±3.31 mm at postoperative 1 month and was stabilized at 11.43±2.23 mm on final visit. The segmental angle of lordosis was changed significantly from 3.54±3.70° before surgery to 6.37±3.97° by 24 months postoperative, and total lumbar lordosis was 20.37±11.30° preoperatively and 24.71±11.70° at 24 months postoperative.
There have been no special complications regarding the expandable cage during the follow-up period and the results of this study demonstrates a high fusion rate and clinical success.
Expandable cage; Degeneration; Interbody fusion; Lumbar spine
Comparative effectiveness research in spine surgery is still a rarity. In this study, pain alleviation and quality of life (QoL) improvement after lumbar total disc arthroplasty (TDA) and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) were anonymously compared by surgeon and implant.
A total of 534 monosegmental TDAs from the SWISSspine registry were analyzed. Mean age was 42 years (19–65 years), 59 % were females. Fifty cases with ALIF were documented in the international Spine Tango registry and used as concurrent comparator group for the pain analysis. Mean age was 46 years (21–69 years), 78 % were females. The average follow-up time in both samples was 1 year. Comparison of back/leg pain alleviation and QoL improvement was performed. Unadjusted and adjusted probabilities for achievement of minimum clinically relevant improvements of 18 VAS points or 0.25 EQ-5D points were calculated for each surgeon.
Mean preoperative back pain decreased from 69 to 30 points at 1 year (ØΔ 39pts) after TDA, and from 66 to 27 points after ALIF (ØΔ 39pts). Mean preoperative QoL improved from 0.34 to 0.74 points at 1 year (ØΔ 0.40pts). There were surgeons with better patient selection, indicated by lower adjusted probabilities reflecting worsening of outcomes if they had treated an average patient sample. ALIF had similar pain alleviation than TDA.
Pain alleviation after TDA and ALIF was similar. Differences in surgeon’s patient selection based on pain and QoL were revealed. Some surgeons seem to miss the full therapeutic potential of TDA by selecting patients with lower symptom severity.
Comparative effectiveness; Spine registry; SWISSspine; Total disc arthroplasty; Benchmark
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) cages are expected to reduce segmental mobility. Current ALIF cages have different designs, suggesting differences in initial stability. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of different stand-alone ALIF cage constructs and cage-related features on initial segmental stability. Human multi-segmental specimens were tested intact and with an instrumented L3/4 disc level. Five different ALIF cages (I/F, BAK, TIS, SynCage, and ScrewCage) were tested non-destructively in axial rotation, flexion/extension and lateral bending. A cage ‘pull-out’ concluded testing. Changes in neutral zone (NZ) and range of motion (ROM) were analyzed. Cage-related measurements normalized to vertebral dimensions were used to predict NZ and ROM. No cage construct managed to reduce NZ. The BAK and TIS cages had the largest NZ increase in flexion/extension and lateral bending, respectively. Cages did reduce ROM in all loading directions. The TIS cage was the least effective in reducing the ROM in lateral bending. Cages with sharp teeth had higher ‘pull-out’ forces. Antero-posterior and medio-lateral cage dimensions, cage height and wedge angle were found to influence initial stability. The performance of stand-alone ALIF cage constructs generally increased the NZ in any loading direction, suggesting potential directions of initial segmental instability that may lead to permanent deformity. Differences between cages in flexion/extension and lateral bending NZ are attributed to the severity of geometrical cage-endplate surface mismatch. Stand-alone cage constructs reduced ROM effectively, but the residual ROM present indicates the presence of micromotion at the cage-endplate interface.
Key words Biomechanics; Implant; Interbody fusion; Segmental ¶flexibility; Lumbar spine
Anterior cervical decompression and fusion with anterior plating of the cervical spine is a well-accepted treatment for cervical radiculopathy. Recently, to minimise the extent of surgery, anterior interbody fusion with cages has become more common. While there are numerous reports on the primary stabilising effects of the different cervical cages, little is known about the subsidence behaviour of such cages in vivo. We retrospectively reviewed eight patients with cervical radiculopathy operated upon with anterior discectomy and fusion with a stand-alone titanium cervical cage. During surgery, only the cartilage portion of the end plate was removed and the cages were filled with autologous cancellous bone graft from the iliac crest. To assess possible subsidence or migration, three different radiographic measurements in the sagittal plane were taken for each case, postoperatively and at the latest follow-up. Subsidence was defined as any change in at least one of our parameters of at least 3 mm. Follow-up time was 12–18 months (average 15 months). Five of the nine fused levels had radiological signs of cage subsidence. No posterior or anterior migration was observed. However, subsidence did not correlate with clinical symptoms in four of the five patients. The remaining patient with signs of subsidence, whose neck pain and neurologic symptoms had regressed in the early postoperative course, suffered recurrence of radiculopathy 6 months after the surgery. Her symptoms were explained by the subsidence of the cage and the subsequent foraminal stenosis observed on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. At 15 months' follow-up, her cage was broken. Our preliminary results, so far limited in number, represent a serious warning to the proponents of stand-alone cervical cages
Cervical radiculopathy; Cervical cage; Interbody fusion; Subsidence
A retrospective radiographic study.
To verify the correlation of sagittal and coronal plane changes after selective thoracic fusion in main thoracic (MT) adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
Overview of Literature
Sagittal plane deformity is known to be essential in the evolution of scoliosis.
Twenty-eight MT AIS patients treated by anterior selective thoracic fusion were evaluated after minimal follow-up of two years. The unfused lumbar area was divided into proximal and distal parts by the lumbar apex in the coronal plane, and into proximal and distal lumbar lordosis by L2 in the sagittal plane. Surgical motion (the difference between preoperative and postoperative values) and follow-up motion (the difference between postoperative and the last follow-up values) were compared.
Immediately after surgery, as thoracic kyphosis increased, lumbar lordosis decreased (r=0.734); proximal lumbar lordosis increased, and distal lumbar lordosis decreased. The proximal lumbar area was mobilized in the sagittal plane, and was straightened in the coronal plane. However, the distal lumbar area was stabilized in the sagittal plane, and showed resistant motion against MT translation in the coronal plane. The surgical motion was correlated to the follow-up motion, i. e., was regulated during follow-up, and the regulatory motion was more precise in the distal than proximal lumbar area in both sagittal and coronal planes.
Sagittal and coronal motions were co-related; optimal sagittal motions were necessary for optimal coronal motions after anterior selective thoracic fusion for MT AIS. Proximal and distal lumbar motions were different for different roles; the proximal lumbar area played a role as a bumper to absorb the MT translatory force, and the distal lumbar area played a role of resistance against MT translation.
Sagittal plane; Selective thoracic fusion; Anterior spinal fusion; Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
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
From July 2004 to June 2005, 19 patients with 25 discs underwent anterior cervical discectomy and interbody fusion (ACDF) in which polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cages were filled with freeze-dried cancellous allograft bone. This kind of bone graft was made from femoral condyle that was harvested during total knee arthroplasty. Patient age at surgery was 52.9 (28–68) years. All patients were followed up at least 1 year. We measured the height of the disc and segmental sagittal angulation by pre-operative and post-operative radiographs. CT scan of the cervical spine at 1 year was used to evaluate fusion rates. Odom's criteria were used to assess the clinical outcome. All interbody disc spaces achieved successful union at 1-year follow-up. The use of a PEEK cage was found to increase the height of the disc immediately after surgery (5.0 mm pre-operatively, 7.3 mm immediately post-operatively). The final disc height was 6.2 mm, and the collapse of the disc height was 1.1 mm. The segmental lordosis also increased after surgery (2.0° pre-operatively, 6.6° immediately post-operatively), but the mean loss of lordosis correction was 3.3° at final follow-up. Seventy-four percent of patients (14/19) exhibited excellent/good clinical outcomes. Analysis of the results indicated the cancellous allograft bone-filled PEEK cage used in ACDF is a good choice for patients with cervical disc disease, and avoids the complications of harvesting iliac autograft.
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
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
Introduction. Three-column vertebral resections are frequently applied to correct sagittal malalignment; their effects on distant unfused levels need to be understood. Methods. 134 consecutive adult PSO patients were included (29 thoracic, 105 lumbar). Radiographic analysis included pre- and postoperative regional curvatures and pelvic parameters, with paired independent t-tests to evaluate changes. Results. A thoracic osteotomy with limited fusion leads to a correction of the kyphosis and to a spontaneous decrease of the unfused lumbar lordosis (−8°). When the fusion was extended, the lumbar lordosis increased (+8°). A lumbar osteotomy with limited fusion leads to a correction of the lumbar lordosis and to a spontaneous increase of the unfused thoracic kyphosis (+13°). When the fusion was extended, the thoracic kyphosis increased by 6°. Conclusion. Data from this study suggest that lumbar and thoracic resection leads to reciprocal changes in unfused segments and requires consideration beyond focal corrections.
A prospective analysis of the sagittal profile of 100 healthy young adult volunteers was carried out in order to evaluate the relationship between the shape of the pelvis and lumbar lordosis and to create a databank of the morphologic and positional parameters of the pelvis and spine in a normal healthy population. Inclusion criteria were as follows: no previous spinal surgery, no low back pain, no lower limb length inequality, no scoliotic deviation. For each subject, a 30×90-cm sagittal radiograph including spine, pelvis and proximal femurs in standing position on a force plate was performed. The global axis of gravity was determined with the force plate. Each radiograph was digitized using dedicated software. The spinal parameters registered were values for thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis. The pelvic angles measured were: pelvic incidence, sacral slope and pelvic tilt. The global axis of gravity was on average 9 mm anterior of the center of the femoral heads. The anatomic parameter of pelvic incidence angle varied from 33° to 85° (mean: 51.7°, SD: 11°). The average lumbar lordosis was 46.5°. The average thoracic kyphosis was 47°. We found a statistical correlation between incidence angle and lumbar lordosis (r=0.69, P<0.001) and between sacral slope angle and lumbar lordosis (r=0.75, P<0.001). Spine and pelvis balance around the hip axis in order to position the gravity line over the femoral heads. We propose a scheme of sagittal balance of the standing human body.
Sagittal balance Gravity axis Pelvic incidence angle Lordosis Kyphosis
The objective of our study was to assess the efficacy of Graf ligamentoplasty in comparison with rigid fixation and fusion with the Hartshill horseshoe cage for similar severity of disc degeneration. Although studies have been done on the Graf ligamentoplasty procedure and the Hartshill horseshoe cage, their efficacy has never been compared in any study. This study was done to decide whether retaining mobility and stabilizing the spine is best or stiffening the lumbar segment by fusion is preferable. Between 1995 and 1997, a prospective randomized study was performed comparing Graf ligament stabilization and anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Twenty-eight patients had single-level Graf ligaments inserted and 27 patients had single-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) with a Hartshill horseshoe cage and tricortical iliac crest autograft. The two groups were similar in age, sex, symptoms, severity of the disc degeneration, and duration of follow-up. The chi-square test and t-test were used to evaluate the outcome. At a minimum follow-up of 2.1 years, we found that 93% of patients who had undergone Graf ligamentoplasty had a satisfactory outcome (rated "excellent" or "better") compared to 77.8% of patients who had been treated with ALIF with Hartshill horseshoe cage stabilization and fusion, when measured on the Oswestry Disability Index (P<0.05). Retaining mobility in the lumbar segments gives better results after stabilisation with Graf ligaments than rigid fixation and fusion with the Hartshill horseshoe cage in the short term. We will be watching this cohort of patients over the next few years.
Lumbar interbody fusion; Graf ligament; Disc degeneration
Prospective study. To study the validity of Hybrid construction (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion) ALIF at one level and total disc arthroplasty (TDA) at adjacent, for two levels disc disease in lumbar spine as surgical strategy. With growing evidence that fusion constructs in the treatment of degenerative disc disease (DDD) may alter sagittal balance and contribute to undesirable complications in the long-term, total disc arthroplasty (TDA) slowly becomes an accepted treatment option for a selected group of patients. Despite encouraging early and intermediate term results of single-level total disc arthroplasty reported in the literature, there is growing evidence that two-level arthroplasty does not fare as well. Hybrid fusion is an attempt to address two-level DDD by combining the advantages of a single-level ALIF with those of a single-level arthroplasty. 42 patients (25 females and 17 males) underwent Hybrid fusion and had a median follow-up of 26.3 months. The primary functional outcomes were assessed before and after surgery with Oswestry Disability Index and the visual analogue score of the back and legs. Patients were divided into four groups according to the percentage improvement between preop and postop ODI scores. A total of 42 patients underwent a hybrid fusion as follows: 35 L5-S1 ALIF/L4-5 prosthesis, 3 L4-5 ALIF/L3-4 prosthesis, 2 L5-S1 ALIF/L4-5 prosthesis/L3-4 prosthesis, 1 L5-S1 prosthesis/L4-5 ALIF, and 1 L5-S1 ALIF/L4-5 ALIF/L3-4 prosthesis. At 2-years clinical outcomes, mean reduction in ODI is 24.9 points (53.0% improvement compared to preop ODI). The visual analogue score for the back is 64.6% improvement. At 2-year clinical outcomes, Hybrid fusion is a viable surgical alternative for the treatment of two-level DDD in comparison with two-level TDA and with two-level fusion.
Total disc arthroplasty; Anterior lumbar interbody fusion; Lumbar spine; Degenerative disc disease; Hybrid construct; Lumbar fusion