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Outcome of anterior lumbar interbody fusion : a retrospective study of clinical and radiologic parameters

  • Pinson, Harry
  • Hallaert, Giorgio
  • Everaert, Karel
  • Caemaert, Jacques
  • Kalala Okito, Jean-Pierre
  • Van Roost, Dirk
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Objective. This study aims to critically evaluate the long-term results of stand-alone anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), without use of rhBMP-2, as a therapeutic option for symptomatic patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD). Furthermore this study intends to identify predictive parameters for anterior lumbar interbody fusion outcome. Methods. A retrospective cohort study with additional telephone interview to obtain missing data was performed. All patients who underwent a L4-L5 and/or L5-S1 ALIF-procedure in the period between 2006 and 2011 were identified. The medical files of 123 patients with 154 fusion levels were reviewed. All patients were contacted by phone to gather supplementary and missing information. Pain and functionality scores (Visual Analogue Scale [VAS] and Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]), radiological (intervertebral disc height, Modic and Pfirrmann classifications) and different clinical parameters were gathered. Results. The mean age at surgery of the population was 46.2 years. Overall, 59 female and 64 male patients were included in the study. The mean visual analogue scales (VAS) for back and leg pain improved significantly (P<0.001) with 5 and 4.4 points respectively at 3 years follow-up. Modic-type I changes are associated with a better improvement in VAS-score for back pain (P=0.026), Pfirrmann-grades IV and V and an intervertebral disc height of less than 5 mm are associated with a better improvement in leg pain (respective P-values: 0.045 and 0.033). Overall, 89% of patients would reconsider the surgical intervention. Conclusions. The ALIF-technique is a durable treatment option for patients with DDD. This study suggests different predictive parameters for treatment outcome.

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