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Korean J Spine. 2013 Sep;10(3):126-32. doi: 10.14245/kjs.2013.10.3.126. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Mid-term Clinical Outcomes of Stand-alone Posterior Interbody Fusion with Rectangular Cages: A 4-year-minimum Follow-up.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



We sought to determine minimum 4 years of clinical outcomes including fusion rate, revision rate and complications of patients who underwent placement of rectangular stand-alone cages.


Thirty-three cases of degenerative spine that had been followed for at least 4-years were reviewed retrospectively. Cages were inserted at L4-L5 level or L5-S1 in 27 or in 6 cases respectively. Visual analogue scale (VAS), Odom's criteria, fusion rate, intervertebral disc height and lumbar lordosis were determined pre- and post-operatively on standing x-rays. Amount of intra- and postoperative blood loss, total volume transfused, duration of surgery and perioperative complications were also evaluated.


The mean VAS score of back pain and sciatica were improved from 8.0 and 7.0 points to 3.4 and 2.4 during 1 years follow-up visit and the scores was raised gradually. Also, during the follow-up, 94% of patients showed excellent or good outcomes by the Odom's criteria. Intervertebral disc height was increased from 8.2±1.4mm to 9.2±1.9mm at the first year of follow-up, however, found to be decreased and stabilized to 8.3±1.8mm after 2 years. The fusion rate was approximately 91% after 4 year postoperative. The segmental angle of lordosis was increased significantly by two years but it was not maintained after four years. A statistically insignificant change in total lumbar lordosis was also observed. Three patients (9%) had experienced perioperative complications.


The use of rectangular stand-alone cages for posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) resulted in a various degree of subsidence and demonstrate very low complication rate, high functional stability and improved clinical outcomes in patients with degenerative lumbar disc disease.


Posterior lumbar interbody fusion; Rectangular cage; Stand-alone cage

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