Long-Term Outcome of Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion; 5 Years Post Op and Beyond

Keywords: lumbar spine, spinal fusion, spinal stenosis, training, interbody fusion

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     Several reports have described the efficacy of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF), but none have documented the long-term outcomes of patients undergoing this procedure.
     The purpose of this study was to quantify patient-derived outcomes for MIS-TLIF patients who were 5 years or more post-operative.
     All patients who had undergone a single-level MIS-TLIF 5 or more years prior for lumbar spondylolisthesis or spondylosis and for whom preoperative Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog pain scale (VAS) data had been collected were included.
     A chart review was performed after obtaining IRB approval. These patients were contacted by phone and mail. After informed consent, they filled out ODI and VAS forms and returned them to the investigators. The current outcome data were compared to the preoperatively derived measures.
     55 patients had undergone MIS-TLIF within the specified time frame mean 72.6 months (60-90) and had preoperative baseline ODI and VAS scores. Of these, 39 (19 male/20 female) patients were successfully contacted and returned current ODI and VAS scores. The mean cohort age was 63 years (37-80). The mean baseline ODI was 53 (30-100) and mean baseline VAS back and VAS leg were 50 (0-99) and 56 (0-98), respectively. The mean scores at the time of inquiry for ODI, VAS back, and VAS leg were 17(0-60), 12 (0-62), and 16 (0-77), respectively; representing a decrease of 36, 38, and 40 points from baseline.
     This is a retrospective study.
     Although multiple reports have documented patient-derived outcome data following MIS-TLIF, none have done so for patients who were 5 or more years beyond their index procedure.
     The significant improvements in disability, back pain, and leg pain seen in the present study imply that MIS-TLIF is capable of producing sustained relief of symptoms and improvement in patient function. This has positive implications for the cost-effectiveness of this procedure.


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