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J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Sep;20(9):1241-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2012.10.031. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Posterolateral lumbar fusion versus transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion for the treatment of degenerative lumbar scoliosis.

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Department of Orthopedics, 2nd Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, No. 88 Jie Fang Road, Hangzhou 310009, Zhejiang, China.


This study compares the safety and efficacy of posterolateral lumbar fusion (PLF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) in the treatment of degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). Forty DLS patients with Cobb angles of 20-60 degrees were randomized into either the PLF or TLIF treatment group, and were followed up for 2-5 years. Operating time, intraoperative blood loss, clinical outcomes, complications and imaging were compared between the two groups. There were significant differences between the PLF and TLIF treatment groups in operative time (187.8±63.5 minutes and 253.2±57.6 minutes, respectively; p=0.002) and intraoperative blood loss (1166.7±554.1 mL and 1673.7±922.4 mL, respectively; p=0.048). The occurrence rates of early complications in the two groups were 11.1% and 26.3%. The recovery rates of the lumbar lordotic angle and spinal sagittal balance were significantly different (36.7% versus 62.5% and 44.8% versus 64.1%, respectively). In various domains of the Scoliosis Research Society-22 (SRS-22) questionnaire, the scores for pain and satisfaction with the treatment showed significant differences between PLF and TLIF group (p=0.033 and p=0.006, for pain and satisfaction respectively), and the TLIF group showed better outcomes than the PLF group. There were no significant differences in the recovery rates in the Cobb angle and the spinal coronal balance, function, self-image, or mental health scores. Although TLIF increases the surgical trauma and occurrence of complications, it helps to improve lumbar lordosis and sagittal balance and shows better clinical outcomes. For patients without significant loss of lumbar lordosis and with good spinal sagittal balance preoperatively, PLF is still an option.


Degenerative; Posterolateral lumbar fusion; Scoliosis; Spinal fusion; Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

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