Interbody fusion is the gold standard treatment for the management of numerous diseases of the spine. Minimally invasive techniques may be more beneficial than conventional techniques. The main goal of this study was to report the one-year postoperative results of a series of posterior lumbar interbody fusions by a minimally invasive technique in relation to improvement in functional outcome, interbody fusion and morbidity.
Materials and methods
Between January 2012 and May 2013, 182 patients treated by minimally invasive posterior transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) were included in this prospective multicenter study. Clinical assessment was based on a comparison of the preoperative and one-year postoperative Oswestry (ODI), SF-12 and Quebec Scores and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Surgical and postoperative follow-up data were evaluated. Radiological assessment was based preoperative and one-year postoperative full spine teleradiographs. Interbody fusion at one-year was systematically evaluated by CT scan.
One hundred and eighty-two patients were included, mean age 58.9 years old. Surgery lasted a mean 101minutes, mean preoperative bleeding was 143mL, and mean radiation exposure was 247.4 cGy/cm2. The rate of postoperative complications was 7.7%. The ODI, the Quebec Score, the SF-12 and the VAS were all significantly improved at one-year (P<0.0001). The rate of fusion was 72.6% at the final follow-up. There was no significant difference in functional outcome between patients with and without fusion.
The one-year postoperative radiological results and functional outcome of minimally invasive posterior lumbar fusion are satisfactory. The benefits of this minimally invasive approach are mainly found in the first 6 postoperative months. Successful radiological interbody fusion was not correlated to functional outcome at the final follow-up.
Level of evidence
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Keywords : Minimally invasive surgery, Transforaminal interbody fusion, Posterior lumbar fusion, Prospective study, Morbidity