Minimally invasive vs. open TLIF spine surgery: 5 key notes


A study presented at the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Global Forum in 2014 compared minimally invasive and open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion at two levels.

The researchers examined clinical and radiographic outcomes for patients six months and two years after two-level TLIF. Thirty-five minimally invasive and 35 open procedure patients were included in the study. The researchers found:


1. Minimally invasive and open procedures had comparable operative time, and no postoperative drainage.


2. The minimally invasive patients underwent a longer fluoroscopic time and less intraoperative blood loss. The MIS patients also needed less morphine.


3. Minimally invasive patients ambulated quicker than the open patients and were discharged from the hospital earlier.


4. Both groups showed significant improvement in patient satisfaction, VAS, ODI, SF-36 and return to function scores. There was a higher grade 1 fusion rate in the MIS cases six months after surgery than in the open cases.


5. Two years after surgery, both groups reported significantly better results for VAS leg pain. The MIS patients also reported better results for NASS scores for neurogenic symptoms. Almost all patients reported grade 1 fusions by two years after surgery: 94.28 percent of open patients and 97.14 percent of MIS patients.


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