Restoration of Thoracolumbar Spine Stability and Alignment in Elderly Patients Using Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS). A Safe and Feasible Option in Degenerative and Traumatic Spine Diseases

  • Giuseppe M. V. BarbagalloEmail author
  • Giuseppe Raudino
  • Massimiliano Visocchi
  • A. Abdulrazzaq Alobaid
  • A. Abdulaziz Al-Mutair
  • Thomas Naveen
  • Francesco Certo
Part of the Acta Neurochirurgica Supplement book series (NEUROCHIRURGICA, volume 124)


Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS), including percutaneous pedicle-screw fixation (PPSF), mini-open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (m-open TLIF), vertebroplasty, and stentoplasty, allows the preservation of neurological function and the restoration of spine stability, while reducing associated risks and complications. This study aimed to analyze the safety and efficacy of MISS in elderly patients suffering from degenerative or traumatic thoracolumbar diseases. Forty-five patients (28 females), with a mean age of 73 years (range 65–89), suffering from osteoporotic vertebral fractures (24), degenerative spondylolisthesis (15), and lumbar canal stenosis with instability and/or de novo scoliosis (6) were included.

Twenty-one patients underwent PPSF and m-open TLIF. The remaining patients received PPSF without interbody fusion, and in six of these fenestrated screws were used for vertebral body cement augmentation.

Functional evaluation was obtained with a visual analog scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) pre- and postoperatively. Preoperative imaging included X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients were followed-up with X-rays, and a CT scan was also obtained at the last follow-up. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 59 months (mean 28 months). Follow-up CT scan documented intersomatic fusion in only 14 % of patients treated with m-open TLIF. Despite the high incidence of non-union, mean VAS and ODI scores showed a significant improvement, with a reduction of mean VAS from 9 to 4 and a reduction of mean ODI from 76.33 to 38.15 %. Only three patients developed postoperative complications. No patients showed neurological deficits.

Minimally invasive spine surgery for degenerative and traumatic spinal diseases is a safe and effective treatment also in elderly patients.


Oswestry Disability Index Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Osteoporotic Vertebral Fracture Spinal Canal Stenosis Oswestry Disability Index Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of Interest Statement

We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe M. V. Barbagallo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giuseppe Raudino
    • 1
  • Massimiliano Visocchi
    • 2
  • A. Abdulrazzaq Alobaid
    • 3
  • A. Abdulaziz Al-Mutair
    • 3
  • Thomas Naveen
    • 3
  • Francesco Certo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryPoliclinico “G. Rodolico” University HospitalCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Insitute of Neurosurgery, Medical SchoolCatholic University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Spine SurgeryAl-Razi HospitalKuwaitKuwait

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