A new study published in Clinical Spine Surgery examines complications within the first year after undergoing extreme lateral interbody fusion.
The researchers examined 108 patients who underwent the XLIF procedure between 2007 and 2009. The researchers found:
1. There were 25 patients — around 23 percent — with complications within a year of undergoing XLIF.
2. Four of the patients experienced major complications including:
• Vertebral body fracture
• Contralateral nerve root injury
• Dens quadriceps paresis
• Persistent stenosis
3. There were three patients who underwent revision surgery.
4. The vast majority of the 21 minor complications included approach-related thigh pain and/or parenthesis. Those complications were ultimately resolved.
5. The transient ipsilateral thigh numbness, pain and/or hip flexor weakness commonly found when the procedure included L4-L5 level is instrumented, according to the report.
"Dense femoral nerve palsy is a debilitating complication that may occur despite intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring," concluded the study authors. "It should be noted that this retrospective study may underreport the true incidence of complications among these patients."