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Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion versus instrumented posterolateral fusion in Grade I/II spondylolisthesis



Spondylolisthesis refers to slippage of one vertebra over the other, which may be caused by a variety of reasons such as degenerative, trauma, and isthmic. Surgical management forms the mainstay of treatment to prevent further slip and worsening. However, there is no consensus regarding the best surgical option to treat these patients. This study compares TLIF and instrumented PLF in patients with Grade I and II spondylolisthesis and analysis the outcome with respect to functional outcome, pain, fusion rate, adequacy of medial facetectomy for decompression, and complications.

Materials and Methods

Forty patients operated for spondylolisthesis by instrumented posterolateral or transforaminal fusion between January 1, 2010, and June 30, 2012 were included in this retrospective study. They were followed up for 3 years. Twenty one cases were of instrumented posterolateral fusion (PLF) and 19 cases were of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). The patients were asked to fill up the Oswestry disability index (ODI), Dallas Pain Questionnaire (DPQ), and low back pain rating scale (LBPRS) preoperatively, at 1-month postoperatively, and at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months postoperatively. Radiological parameters were assessed using radiographs.


No significant differences were found in DPQ, LBPRS, or ODI scores preoperative, 1-month postoperative, and at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months followup. No significant difference was found between the two groups in blood loss. The only significant difference between the two groups was in the operative time, in which the instrumented PLF group had a mean of 50 min lesser than the TLIF group (P = 0.02).


TLIF and instrumented PLF are equally efficacious options in the treatment of Grade I and II spondylolisthesis, except lytic type.

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Correspondence to Niranjanan Raghavn Muralidharagopalan.

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Pooswamy, S., Muralidharagopalan, N.R. & Subbaiah, S. Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion versus instrumented posterolateral fusion in Grade I/II spondylolisthesis. IJOO 51, 131–138 (2017).

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Key words

  • Instrumented posterolateral fusion
  • spondylolisthesis
  • transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

Mesh terms

  • Spinal fusion
  • spondylolisthesis
  • degenerative diseases
  • lumbar vertebrae