Does minimally invasive technology improve lumbar fusion outcomes? 5 key findings

Written by Laura Dyrda | June 21, 2017 | Print  |

A new study published in The Spine Journal examines minimally invasive devices for lumbar spinal fusion procedures.


The study authors examined data from the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database, which prospectively enrolls patients undergoing elective spine surgery at 60 hospitals across the U.S. The study examined 467 patients who underwent elective lumbar spinal fusion with minimally invasive technologies and 1,480 who underwent the procedure with open technologies.


Here are five key findings from the report:


1. The patients who underwent minimally invasive surgeries were more likely healthier by American Society of Anesthesiologist grade and hold private insurance. The MIS procedures were also more frequently single-level surgeries.


2. The minimally invasive group had less blood loss and a shorter length of stay at the hospital. They also reported a 5 percent reduced need for post-discharge inpatient rehabilitation.


3. The 90-day safety measures were similar between both groups and equivalent return-to-work rates. The patient-reported pain, physical disability and quality of life three months and one year after surgery were also similar between the two groups.


4. The interbody lumbar fusion was associated with "significant and sustained improvements" in all of the measured health domains for both minimally invasive and open procedures. "When used in everyday care by a wide spectrum of spine surgeons in non-research settings, the use of MIS technologies was associated with intraoperative blood loss but only a half-day reduction in the mean length of stay for one-level fusions," concluded the study authors.


5. The clinical outcomes were similar between both groups, although the minimally invasive procedure allowed for some in-hospital care efficiencies, according to the report.


More articles on spine surgery:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont adds minimally invasive SI joint fusion coverage for 200k members: 4 key notes
Minimally invasive vs. open decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis: 5 key notes
7 MIS spine devices & technologies making the headlines

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