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The axial transsacral approach to interbody fusion at L5-S1.
Neurosurg Focus. 2014 May;36(5):E8
Authors: Issack PS, Kotwal SY, Boachie-Adjei O
Lumbosacral interbody fusion m…

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The SNAP trial: a double blind multi-center randomized controlled trial of a silicon nitride versus a PEEK cage in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion in patients with symptomatic degenerative lumbar disc disorders: study…

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[Long-term clinical outcomes of selective segmental transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and posterior spinal fusion for degenerative lumbar scoliosis].

Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2013 Dec;93(45):3577-81

Authors: Zhu Y, Liu HY, Wang B, Wang HM, Qian YL, Zhu ZQ, Miao KN

OBJECTIVE: To explore the surgical techniques and long-term clinical outcomes of degenerative scoliosis (DS) with selective segmental transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and posterior spinal fusion.
METHODS: Ninety-five patients with adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis undergoing posterior long fusion at our department from January 1999 to December 2007 were analyzed retrospectively. The average follow-up period was 7.8 (5-13) years. The clinical outcomes of Oswestry disability index (ODI), visual analog scale (VAS), patient satisfaction and such radiographic parameters as Cobb angle, apical vertebra translation (AVT), Nash-Moe grade, lumbar lordosis (LL) and thoracolumbar kyphosis (TLK) were evaluated.
RESULTS: The clinical outcomes of ODI score and VAS significantly improved at the last visit (P < 0.05). The ODI score was 32.2 ± 8.6 before surgery and 11.1 ± 6.8 at the last visit. The VAS was 8.9 ± 2.0 before surgery and 2.0 ± 1.2 at the last visit. Patient satisfaction was 88.2% (84/95) at the last visit. At the final evaluation, Cobb’s angle, apical vertebra translation and Nash-Moe grades decreased with a statistically significant difference (P < 0.001) compared with preoperative parameters.Lordotic angle had a significant increase than preoperative angle (P < 0.001). Thoracolumbar kyphosis showed no significant change (P > 0.05). Besides, a significant positive correlation existed between the decrease of ODI score and the increment of lumbar lordotic angle (r = 0.62, P = 0.01) .Long-term complications included broken rod (n = 2), coronal junctional scoliosis (n = 4), L5-S1 spondylolisthesis (n = 2), L5-S1 restenosis (n = 5). And 11 patients underwent reoperation.
CONCLUSION: A combination of selective segmental TLIF and posterior spinal fusion is both safe and effective for degenerative scoliosis and excellent long-term clinical outcomes may be achieved. And selective segmental TLIF can facilitate solid fusion, improvement of lumbar lordosis, better correction of lateral listhesis and asymmetric disc space so as to yield better corrective effects and long-term clinical outcomes.

PMID: 24534305 [PubMed – in process]

Disc Space Preparation in Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: A Comparison of Minimally Invasive and Open Approaches.

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Feb 13;

Authors: Rihn JA, Gandhi SD, Sheehan P, Vaccaro AR, Hilibrand AS, Albert TJ, Anderson DG

BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approaches to transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) have been developed as an alternative to the open approach. However, concerns remain regarding the adequacy of disc space preparation that can be achieved through a minimally invasive approach to TLIF.
QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: The purpose of this cadaver study is to compare the adequacy of disc space preparation through MIS and open approaches to TLIF. Specifically we sought to compare the two approaches with respect to (1) the time required to perform a discectomy and the number of endplate violations; (2) the percentage of disc removed; and (3) the anatomic location where residual disc would remain after discectomy.
METHODS: Forty lumbar levels (ie, L1-2 to L5-S1 in eight fresh cadaver specimens) were randomly assigned to open and MIS groups. Both surgeons were fellowship-trained spine surgeons proficient in the assigned approach used. Time required for discectomy, endplate violations, and percentage of disc removed by volume and mass were recorded for each level. A digital imaging software program (ImageJ; US National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA) was used to measure the percent disc removed by area for the total disc and for each quadrant of the endplate.
RESULTS: The open approach was associated with a shorter discectomy time (9 versus 12 minutes, p = 0.01) and fewer endplate violations (one versus three, p = 0.04) when compared with an MIS approach, percent disc removed by volume (80% versus 77%, p = 0.41), percent disc removed by mass (77% versus 75%, p = 0.55), and percent total disc removed by area (73% versus 71%, p = 0.63) between the open and MIS approaches, respectively. The posterior contralateral quadrant was associated with the lowest percent of disc removed compared with the other three quadrants in both open and MIS groups (50% and 60%, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: When performed by a surgeon experienced with MIS TLIF, MIS and open approaches are similar in regard to the adequacy of disc space preparation. The least amount of disc by percentage is removed from the posterior contralateral quadrant regardless of the approach; surgeons should pay particular attention to this anatomic location during the discectomy portion of the procedure to minimize the likelihood of pseudarthrosis.

PMID: 24522382 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Unilateral versus Bilateral Pedicle Screw Fixation in Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion.
PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e87501
Authors: Hu XQ, Wu XL, Xu C, Zheng XH, Jin YL,…

Comparative Outcomes of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Posterior Lumbar Fusion: A Systematic Review.

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Jan 25;

Authors: Goldstein CL, Macwan K, Sundararajan K, Rampersaud YR

BACKGROUND: Although minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approaches to the lumbar spine for posterior fusion are increasingly being utilized, the comparative outcomes of MIS and open posterior lumbar fusion remain unclear.
QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: In this systematic review, we compared MIS and open transforaminal or posterior lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF/PLIF), specifically with respect to (1) surgical end points (including blood loss, surgical time, and fluoroscopy time), (2) clinical outcomes (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI] and VAS pain scores), and (3) adverse events.
METHODS: We performed a systematic review of MEDLINE(®), Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. Reference lists were manually searched. We included studies with 10 or more patients undergoing MIS compared to open TLIF/PLIF for degenerative lumbar disorders and reporting on surgical end points, clinical outcomes, or adverse events. Twenty-six studies of low- or very low-quality (GRADE protocol) met our inclusion criteria. No significant differences in patient demographics were identified between the cohorts (MIS: n = 856; open: n = 806).
RESULTS: Equivalent operative times were observed between the cohorts, although patients undergoing MIS fusion tended to lose less blood, be exposed to more fluoroscopy, and leave the hospital sooner than their open counterparts. Patient-reported outcomes, including VAS pain scores and ODI values, were clinically equivalent between the MIS and open cohorts at 12 to 36 months postoperatively. Trends toward lower rates of surgical and medical adverse events were also identified in patients undergoing MIS procedures. However, in the absence of randomization, selection bias may have influenced these results in favor of MIS fusion.
CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence examining MIS versus open TLIF/PLIF is of low to very low quality and therefore highly biased. Results of this systematic review suggest equipoise in surgical and clinical outcomes with equivalent rates of intraoperative surgical complications and perhaps a slight decrease in perioperative medical complications. However, the quality of the current literature precludes firm conclusions regarding the comparative effectiveness of MIS versus open posterior lumbar fusion from being drawn and further higher-quality studies are critically required.

PMID: 24464507 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Comment on Tian et al.: Minimally invasive versus open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: a meta-analysis based on the current evidence.
Eur Spine J. 2014 Jan 22;
Authors: Li F, Huo H, Yang X, Xiao Y, Xing W, Xia H

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Perioperative complications related to MIS-TLIF: evaluation of 204 operations on lumbar instability at a single center.
Spine J. 2013 Dec 19;
Authors: Wang J, Zhou Y

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Bilateral decompression using a unilateral pedicle construct for lumbar stenosis.

Int Orthop. 2013 Dec 12;

Authors: Mao L, Zhao J, Dai KR, Hua L, Sun XJ

PURPOSE: To determine the effectiveness of bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach using unilateral pedicle screw fixation for two-level lumbar stenosis with instability.
METHODS: Between October 2006 and October 2010, 98 patients (61 men and 37 women) who had reached the three-year follow-up interval were treated with unilateral pedicle screw fixation at the authors’ institution. All patients underwent two-level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), and the mean age was 59.6 years (range, 40-72). Visual analog scale (VAS) scores and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were used to assess the pre-operative and postoperative clinical results. Fusion status, the disc space height, and the whole lumbar lordotic angle were analysed for the radiological evaluation.
RESULTS: The ODI scores decreased significantly in both early and late follow-up evaluations and the visual analog scale (VAS) score demonstrated significant improvement in late follow-up (P < 0.01). The disc space height (P < 0.05) and the whole lumbar lordotic angle (P < 0.05) were increased at the final follow-up. Successful fusion was achieved in all patients.
CONCLUSION: Bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach using unilateral pedicle screw fixation for two-level lumbar stenosis with instability, which can maintain the lumbar lordosis and the disc space height, is an effective and less invasive method than with bilateral constructs.

PMID: 24337752 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: one surgeon’s learning curve.

Spine J. 2013 Oct 3;

Authors: Nandyala SV, Fineberg SJ, Pelton M, Singh K

BACKGROUND CONTEXT: The published literature has not characterized the surgeon’s learning curve with the technically demanding technique of a minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS TLIF).
PURPOSE: To characterize based on intra- and perioperative parameters, the learning curve for one spine surgeon during his initial phases of performing an MIS TLIF.
STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: Retrospective analysis of a single institution and single surgeon experience with the unilateral MIS TLIF technique between July 2008 and April 2011.
PATIENT SAMPLE: Sixty-five consecutive patients, with at least 1 year of follow-up, who underwent a unilateral, single-level, index MIS TLIF for the diagnosis of degenerative disk disease or lumbar spinal stenosis with grade I or II spondylolisthesis were analyzed based on data obtained from the medical records and postoperative imaging (computed tomography).
OUTCOME MEASURES: Postoperative radiographic assessment of fusion at 1 year via computed tomography. Surgical parameters of surgical time (skin-skin, minutes), anesthesia time (induction-extubation, minutes), estimated blood loss (mL), intravenous fluids during surgery (mL), intraoperative complications (durotomy), and postoperative complications (pseudarthrosis, implant failure, malpositioned implants, graft-related complications) were also assessed.
METHODS: The senior author’s first 100 consecutive MIS TLIFs were evaluated initially. Patients undergoing revision or multilevel surgery were excluded leaving a total of 65 consecutive primary MIS TLIFs. The first 33 patients were compared with the second 32 patients in terms of radiographic arthrodesis rates, surgical parameters, and intra-/postoperative complications. A two-tailed Student t test was used to assess for differences between the two cohorts where a p value of less than or equal to .05 denoting statistical significance. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to determine any association between the date of surgery and surgical time.
RESULTS: Average surgical time, estimated blood loss, intraoperative fluids, and duration of anesthesia was significantly longer in the first cohort (p<.05). There were no significant differences in intraoperative complications (two durotomies in both groups) or length of stay. There was no significant difference in postoperative complications at final follow-up based on computed tomography analysis (11 vs. 9, p=.649). In the first cohort, these complications included two cases of radiographic pseudarthrosis: one case of graft migration and one case of medial pedicle wall violation necessitating two revision surgeries. There were two cases of pseudarthrosis and one case of an early surgical site infection identified in the second group requiring three revision surgeries. Last, four cases of neuroforaminal bone growth were demonstrated, two in each cohort. Pearson’s correlation coefficient demonstrated a negative correlation between the date of surgery and surgical time (r=-0.44; p<.001) estimated blood loss (r=-0.49; p<.001), duration of anesthesia (r=-0.41; p=.001), and intravenous fluids (r=-0.42; p=.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The MIS TLIF is a technically difficult procedure to the practicing spine surgeon with regard to intra- and perioperative parameters of surgical time, estimated blood loss, intravenous fluid, and duration of anesthesia. Operative time and proficiency improved with understanding the minimally invasive technique. Further studies are warranted to delineate the methods to minimize the complications associated with the learning curve.

PMID: 24290313 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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