8 things to know about ALIF for adult scoliosis correction

Written by Laura Dyrda | December 21, 2015 | Print  |

A new study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine examines anterior lumbar interbody fusion on one and two levels for adult patients with degenerative scoliosis.

The researchers examined results from 47 patients who underwent one- or two-level ALIF for adult degenerative scoliosis at a single institution. The researchers followed-up with patients for three years. The researchers found:


1. Most patients, 74 percent, reported statistically significant improvement in Oswestry Disability Index scores of 20 points or more at the last follow up. One patient had worsening disability.


2. The patients reported back and leg VAS scores were significantly improved at the last follow-up.


3. The average operating room time was 166 minutes, although the range of operating room time was 70 minutes to 355 minutes. There was average blood loss of 410 mL, with a 50 mL to 1,700 mL range.


4. Six patients reported surgical complications and 13 had medical complications without death or wound infection. Five of the surgical complications and two of the medical complications were major.


5. All but one of the patients achieved fusion after three years. Surgery resulted in a slight but significant Cobb angle decrease and improved the pelvic parameters and lumbar lordosis.


6. The surgery had no effect on the global sagittal balance.


7. Nine patients reported adjacent-segment disease at average two years after surgery and four were symptomatic but treated medically. None of these patients underwent iterative surgery.


8. The researchers concluded the single- or two-level minimally invasive ALIF procedures produced "good functional outcome with high fusion rates" for patients with adult degenerative scoliosis.


More articles on spine surgery:
Open vs. minimally invasive TLIF: 6 key points for spine surgery patients
5 key notes on lumbar decompression for diabetic patients
The Spine Physicians Institute performs minimally invasive spine surgeries in Texas

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