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Bone union rate with autologous iliac bone versus local bone graft in posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF): a multicenter study

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The purpose of this study is to compare bone union rate between autologous iliac bone and local bone graft in patients treated by posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) using carbon cage for single level interbody fusion.


The subjects were 106 patients whose course could be observed for at least 2 years. The diagnosis was lumbar spinal canal stenosis in 46 patients, herniated lumbar disk in 12 patients and degenerative spondylolisthesis in 51 patients. Single interbody PLIF was done using iliac bone graft in 53 patients and local bone graft in 56 patients. Existence of pseudo-arthrosis on X-P (AP and lateral view) was investigated during the same follow up period.


No significant differences were found in operation time and blood loss. Significant differences were also not observed in fusion grade at any follow up period or in fusion progression between the two groups. Donor site pain continued for more than 3 months in five cases (9 %). The final fusion rate was 96.3 versus 98.3 %.


Almost the same results in fusion were obtained from both the local bone group and the autologous iliac bone group. Fusion progression was almost the same. Complications at donor sites were seen in 19 % of the cases. From the above results, it was concluded that local bone graft is as beneficial as autologous iliac bone graft for PLIF at a single level.

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Correspondence to Zenya Ito.

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Ito, Z., Imagama, S., Kanemura, T. et al. Bone union rate with autologous iliac bone versus local bone graft in posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF): a multicenter study. Eur Spine J 22, 1158–1163 (2013).

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