Two-year Outcomes from a Single Surgeon's Learning Curve Experience of Oblique Lateral Interbody Fusion without Intraoperative Neuromonitoring

  • Woods, MD, FAANS K
  • Fonseca A
  • Miller L
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Introduction Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF) is a newer procedure that avoids the psoas and lumbosacral plexus due to its oblique trajectory into the retroperitoneal space. While early experience with OLIF is reassuring, the longer-term clinical efficacy has not been well established. The purpose of this study was to describe two-year clinical outcomes with OLIF performed by a single surgeon during the learning curve without the aid of the neuromonitoring. Materials and methods Chart review was performed for the consecutive patients who underwent OLIF by a single surgeon. Back pain severity on a visual analog scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were collected preoperatively and postoperatively at six weeks, three months, six months, one year and two years. Results A total of 21 patients (38 levels) were included in this study. The indications for surgery were degenerative disc disease (n=10, 47.6%), spondylolisthesis (n=9, 42.9%) and spinal stenosis (n=6, 28.6%). The median operating room time was 351 minutes (interquartile range (IQR): 279-406 minutes), blood loss was 40 ml (IQR: 30-150 ml), and hospital stay was 2.0 days (IQR: 1.0-3.5 days). The complication rate was 9.5%, both venous injuries. There were no other perioperative complications. Back pain severity decreased by 70%, on average, over two years (p <0.001). A total of 17 (81%) patients reported at least a two-point decrease from the baseline. The ODI scores decreased by 55%, on average, over two years (p <0.001), with 16 (76%) patients reporting at least a 15-point decrease from the baseline. Over two years, no symptomatic pseudarthrosis, hardware failure, reoperations, or additional complications were reported. Conclusions The oblique lateral interbody fusion performed without the intraoperative neuromonitoring was safe and clinically efficacious for up to two years. The complication rate in this cohort is similar to other published OLIF series and appears acceptable when compared to the lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) and the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). No motor or sensory deficits were observed in this study, supporting the premise that the neuromonitoring is unnecessary in OLIF.




Woods, MD, FAANS, K., Fonseca, A., & Miller, L. E. (2017). Two-year Outcomes from a Single Surgeon’s Learning Curve Experience of Oblique Lateral Interbody Fusion without Intraoperative Neuromonitoring. Cureus.

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