Minimally invasive vs. open TLIF: Which is most efficient? Has best outcomes? 5 key notes

Laura Dyrda -   Print  | Email

A new study published in Spine compares minimally invasive with open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.

The researchers examined the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database to assess minimally invasive and open outcomes for TLIF at a single institution. The cases occurred from 2012 to 2014. There were 98 patients with three- and 12-month follow-up records. Here are five key findings:


1. Both groups reported similar Oswestry Disability Index and Visual Analog Scale at both three months and one year.


2. The minimally invasive patients reported longer hospital stays — five days compared with three days for the open TLIF.


3. The patients who underwent minimally invasive procedures were more likely to discharge home.


4. The patients who underwent open TLIF surgery reported shorter operative time. The minimally invasive procedures took 329 minutes on average compared with 235 minutes for the open procedure.


5. There was more blood loss — 307 mL — among the open procedures compared with 120.2 mL for the minimally invasive patients.


"Although each approach demonstrated advantages and disadvantages, outcome measures and short-term follow-up were largely equivalent, suggesting that the selection of procedure should be based on which approach will offer the superior individual outcome," concluded the study authors.


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