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Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: An independent assessment of outcomesin a difficult patient population.

Bradley K. Weiner, Hoan-Vu Nguyen, S. Will Hazard

Med Sci Monit 2006; 12(3): CR99-102

ID: 447105


Background: Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is becoming increasinglypopular for the surgical treatment of lumbar degenerative conditions. However, the outcomes followingthe procedure have only begun to be evaluated. Material/Methods: The authors reviewed all patients previouslytreated by TLIF at our tertiary center with minimum two year follow-up. Between 1997 and 2001, twenty-sevenpatients underwent the procedure. They were evaluated clinically and radiographically at regular intervalsfor a minimum two years following surgery and longer term follow-up was carried out by telephone interview.Long-term follow-up was undertaken by an independent assessor (a spine surgeon not directly involvedin the patient's care) and outcomes were assessed using the measure designed by Macnab/McCulloch/An.Follow-up averaged 30 months and ranged from 24 to 42 months. Results: All but two patients obtaineda solid radiographic arthrodesis and complications were few. However, only eleven patients obtained excellentor good clinical results, while 16 had fair or poor outcomes. Conclusions: TLIF is a technically demandingprocedure which can be done with relatively few complications and offers excellent rates of arthrodesis.However, the outcomes of the procedure and indications for the procedure in difficult patient populationsclearly require further study.

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