Minimal access bilateral transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion for high-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis
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Minimally invasive or “minimal access surgery” (MAS) is being utilized with increasing frequency to reduce approach-related morbidity in the lumbar spine. This paper describes our minimal access technique for posterior bilateral transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and spinal instrumentation in a patient with high-grade spondylolisthesis grade (Myerding Grade III) with 5-year follow-up.
A 24-year-old lady presented with mechanical back pain and left leg L5 radiculopathy. On examination, she was a thin lady with an obvious step deformity in the lower lumbar spine and otherwise, a normal neurological examination. Imaging showed a grade III isthmic L5–S1 spondylolisthesis with foraminal stenosis and focal kyphotic alignment of 20° [slip angle (SA) = 70°]. Conservative measures had failed, and a decision was made to proceed with a MAS-TLIF approach.
The estimated blood loss was less than 100 ml, operating time 150 min, and post-operative hospital stay was 4 days. Post-operatively the patient had significant improvement of back and radicular pain. Improvement in ODI was substantial and sustained at 5 years. A solid fusion was achieved at 8 months. The slip percentage improved from 68 % (pre-op) to 28 % (post-op) and the focal alignment to 20° lordosis (SA = 110°).
A MAS approach for selected patients with a mobile high-grade spondylolisthesis is feasible, safe and clinically effective, with the added benefit of reduced soft-tissue disruption. Our result of this technique suggests that the ability to correct focal deformity, and achieve excellent radiographic and clinical outcome is similar to the open procedure.
KeywordsHigh-grade spondylolisthesis Minimally invasive Spinal instrumentation
Conflict of interest
Yoga Raja Rampersaud is a consultant for Medtronic.
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