Minimally Invasive TLIF Has Economic Benefits Over Open Surgery


Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusions provide a shorter hospital length of stay, reduced postoperative narcotic use and quicker return to work than the traditional open procedure, according to a study published in the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques. Researchers examined 30 patients undergoing either minimally invasive or open TLIF for grade I degenerative spondylolisthesis-associated back and leg pain. The patients were followed for two years.

Both procedures had similar long-term improvement in pain, disability and EuroQol-5D. However, the hospital length of stay for MIS patients was three days while patients undergoing the open procedure stayed an average of four to six days. Narcotic use ranged from one to three weeks for the MIS group and 1.4-4.6 weeks with the open procedure group.

On average, the patients in the MIS group returned to work in 8.5 weeks, compared with 17.1 weeks for patients in the open procedure group.

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