Send to

Choose Destination
J Spinal Disord Tech. 2006 Apr;19(2):104-8.

Indication of posterior lumbar interbody fusion for lumbar disc herniation.

Author information

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Minoh City Hospital, Osaka, Japan.



To examine whether lumbar disc herniation with massive extrusion and/or segmental instability can be an indicator for spinal fusion or not, by comparing the outcome of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and discectomy alone.


One hundred seventy-four patients with PLIF and 177 patients with discectomy were retrospectively analyzed. We hypothesized two criteria for fusion: massive herniation and segmental instability. The patients were divided into four groups according to our original criteria: group F-F (n = 96) consisted of the patients who fulfilled the criteria for fusion and underwent PLIF; group nF-F (n = 78) consisted of those who did not fulfill the criteria but had PLIF; group F-nF (n = 30) consisted of those who fulfilled the criteria but underwent discectomy; group nF-nF (n = 147) comprised those who did not fulfill the criteria and underwent discectomy. Each patient was evaluated clinically and radiologically at 5 years after operation.


Groups F-F and nF-F had significantly superior results on low back pain compared with group F-nF (F-F vs F-nF, P < 0.05; nF-F vs F-nF, P < 0.01). The frequency of additional operation at the involved level was significantly higher in group F-nF (10.0%) than in group F-F (2.0%) (P < 0.05). Postoperative instability of the adjacent segment developed in 15 cases (8.6%) in groups F-F and nF-F and in 3 cases (1.7%) in groups F-nF and nF-nF (P < 0.01).


Lumbar disc herniation with massive herniation or segmental instability can be well treated with PLIF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center