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J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Nov;20(11):1558-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2012.12.024. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Extreme lateral interbody fusion for the treatment of adult degenerative scoliosis.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Box 2807, 335 Baker House, 200 Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710, USA. Electronic address:


Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF; NuVasive Inc., San Diego, CA, USA) is a minimally invasive lateral transpsoas approach to the thoracolumbar spine. Though the procedure is rapidly increasing in popularity, limited data is available regarding its use in deformity surgery. We aimed to evaluate radiographic correction using XLIF in adults with degenerative lumbar scoliosis. Thirty consecutive patients were followed for an average of 14.3 months. Interbody fusion was completed using the XLIF technique with supplemental posterior instrumentation. Plain radiographs were obtained on all patients preoperatively, postoperatively, and at most recent follow-up. Plain radiographic measurements of coronal Cobb angle, apical vertebral translation, segmental lordosis, global lordosis, disc height, neuroforaminal height and neuroforaminal width were made at each time point. CT scans were obtained for all patients 1 year after surgery to evaluate for fusion. There was significant improvement in multiple radiographic parameters from preoperative to postoperative. Cobb angle corrected 72.3%, apical vertebral translation corrected 59.7%, neuroforaminal height increased 80.3%, neuroforaminal width increased 7.4%, and disc height increased 116.7%. Segmental lordosis at L4-L5 increased 14.1% and global lordosis increased 11.5%. There was no significant loss of correction from postoperative to most recent follow-up. There was an 11.8% pseudoarthrosis rate at levels treated with XLIF. Complications included lateral incisional hernia (n=1), rupture of anterior longitudinal ligament (n=2), wound breakdown (n=2), cardiac instability (n=1), pedicle fracture (n=1), and nonunion requiring revision (n=1). XLIF significantly improves coronal plane deformity in patients with adult degenerative scoliosis. XLIF has the ability to correct sagittal plane deformity, although it is most effective at lower lumbar levels.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Cobb angle; Degenerative lumbar disease; Lateral lumbar interbody fusion; Spinal deformity

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