To comprehensively investigate the anatomy of the neuromuscular, visceral, vascular, and urinary tissues and their general influence on lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) surgery in the presence or absence of spinal deformity.
We retrospectively reviewed 100 consecutive surgery cases for lumbar degenerative disease of patients aged on average 70.5 years and of which 67 were women. A sagittal vertical axis deviation of more than 50 mm was defined as adult spinal deformity (ASD: 50 patients). The degenerative disease of the other patients was defined as lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS: 50 patients). We analyzed the relative anatomical position of the psoas major muscle, lumbar plexus, femoral nerves, inferior vena cava, abdominal aorta and its bifurcation, ureter, testicular or ovarian artery, kidney and transverse abdominal muscle in patients with ASD or with LSS, using preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
For patients with ASD, the L4-5 intervertebral disk was closer to the lumbar nerve plexus than it was in those with LSS (p < 0.0001), and a rising psoas sign at the L4-5 disk was significantly more frequent in patients with ASD than in those with LSS (p < 0.05). The aortic bifurcation frequently appeared at the level of L4-5 in patients with either degenerative disease, so the common iliac artery may pass near the disk. The inferior vena cava passed closer to the center of the L4-5 disk in patients with ASD than it did in those with LSS (p < 0.05). The transverse abdominal muscle at L2-3, L3-4, and L4-5 was closer to and less than 3 mm from the kidneys in many more patients with ASD than was the case for patients with LSS (p = 0.3, p < 0.05, p = 0.29, respectively).
We recommend careful preoperative MRI to determine the location of organs to help to avoid intraoperative complications during LLIF surgery, especially for patients with ASD.